Australia Reserve Bank warns Australia cannot hide from global drive to net zero by 2050
Barnaby Joyce says fossil fuels are Australia's largest export. Is he correct?
Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce says that coal and fossil fuels are Australia's largest export. Is that correct? RMIT ABC Fact Check investigates. The verdictMr Joyce's claim doesn't stack up.By treating fossil fuels as a single category of export, Mr Joyce is making an arbitrary distinction.Fossil fuels represent a type of carbon-based energy product derived from the fossilised remnants of plants and animals.They include coal, liquified natural gas (LNG), oil, liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and other refinery products.To state the obvious, these are all very different products.
The cost of Australian emissions-intensive businesses were already being driven up by the worldwide drive for zero net emissions by 2050, the Reserve Bank has warned while arguing the risks to local businesses will only continue to grow.
RBA deputy governor Guy Debelle, in an address to the CFA Australia investment conference this morning, said no matter the opinions of Australians towards the move to net zero, it was going to happen.
The federal government faces international pressure to increase its current climate targets ahead of the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow next month. Prime Minister Scott Morrison is aiming to commit to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, but needs tothe policy will not hit regional economies.
World airlines commit to 'net zero' CO2 emissions by 2050
The world's airlines pledged to reach "net zero" carbon emissions by 2050 on Monday even as a trade group forecast profit losses from the pandemic extending into next year. To reach the net zero goal, it will need a steady ramp-up of renewable jet fuel, other efficiency improvements and the use of carbon capture storage and offsets. Proof of the industry's good faith, Walsh assured, is that airlines "invested hundreds of billions of dollars in more fuel-efficient aircraft," with fleet fuel efficiency improving by over 20 percent in a decade.
But the financial sector is already debating how to deal with climate change. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority is leading a climate vulnerability assessment of the sector to see what changes in climate may due to the entire financial system.
Dr Debelle said climate change was a "first-order risk" to the system, with broad-ranging impacts on Australia including households and businesses.
He said a key issue was how investors changed their priorities as climate change materialised, and how they responded to the drive to 2050.
The Australian financial system and the broader economy could not escape what was occurring around the rest of the world.
"Investors will adjust their portfolios in response to climate risks. Governments in other jurisdictions are implementing net zero policies," he said.
Net zero by 2050 climate plan may not be decided by COP26, as Nationals' Barnaby Joyce warns against being 'forced into a corner'
The Nationals leader says the party may not decide on a net zero by 2050 plan before next month's global climate conference, saying the plan would be shot down if a decision was forced sooner.The Nationals party room was yesterday presented with the government's climate change plan, but failed to come to a decision after hours of wrangling over it.
"Both of these are effectively increasing the cost of emissions-intensive activities in Australia. So, irrespective of whether we think these adjustments are appropriate or fair, they are happening and we need to take account of that. The material risk is that these forces are going to intensify from here."
Video: IMF issues warning over property price surge (Sky News Australia)
Dr Debelle noted there had not been any obvious change in investor appetite for Australian bonds or shares.
But, he said, Sweden's central bank, Riksbank, had stopped investing in Queensland and West Australian state government bonds.
"There is a risk we will see more of these divestment decisions sooner rather than later," he said.
Dr Debelle said there was scope for the financial system to support businesses that may not be fully net zero, but offered a transition.
Deputy Speaker warns PM not to blindside Nationals as climate talks heat up
Deputy Speaker Llew O'Brien warns Scott Morrison not to try to pressure his coalition partners in an effort to lock in a plan to cut carbon emissions. Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien, a long-time supporter of Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce, said he had not even seen "the basics of a plan" about reaching net zero emissions, but said he would oppose signing up to any such goal if it risked penalising his constituents.Mr Morrison is negotiating with the Nationals over how the government plans to meet a net-zero target by 2050, ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow later this month.
He cautioned, however, that delaying action could lead to a reckoning in coming years.
"Countries and economies need to transition sustainably. Some projects that are not ‘green' will nevertheless be needed to assist an economy transition to net zero," he said.
"Investing in a reduction in carbon emissions can still be an important part of the transition, even if the immediate outcome is not zero emissions."
"Simply shutting down parts of the economy is unlikely to deliver a socially optimal transition. It is not necessary today to go down such a path, though the time we have before such a path might be necessary is decreasing."
Dr Debelle said while there were risks around climate change, there were also substantial opportunities for Australia.
"We have already seen a significant amount of investment in renewable electricity generation in Australia over the past decade," he said.
"There are plenty of opportunities for Australia to continue to take advantage of its natural endowments of renewable resources and continue to be an exporter of energy to the world, but ina much cleaner and more sustainable way."
Rules are there to be broken … food for thought … zero credibility .
You may want to pour yourself a drink before looking at these politicians shovelling food into their gobs. But no fear! There's plenty more to nibble on from the Crikey bunker.For one thing, it marks the second time he’s broken the rules he himself sets within roughly a week of being in power, an impressive strike rate. For another, the rash of New South Wales politicians milling about awkwardly in pubs (none of whom, weirdly, thought to invite any women) is a standing reminder that politicians should never ever try to be relatable.