04
Nov

COP26: EVs to be ‘new normal’ by 2030 under plan backed by Australia

Electric vehicles would be the “new normal’ and clean energy the cheapest and most reliable form of power worldwide by 2030, under a major global climate action initiative which Australia agreed to join at the Glasgow climate summit.

But while the Morrison government has signed up to the so-called Breakthrough Agenda, it has sided with major emitters China, India and Russia in refusing to back a US-led plan to slash methane emissions this decade.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has departed Glasgow after the two-day leaders conference wrapped up overnight.

Mr Morrison and Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor used the summit to spruik Australia’s technology-focused plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Talks between officials and ministers are scheduled to continue in Glasgow until November 12, with UK Prime Minister and COP26 host Boris Johnson now “cautiously optimistic” that a deal to keep within reach the hope of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees can be struck.

Mr Johnson was last night pushing China, the world’s top emitter of greenhouse gases, to do more to cut pollution this decade, after President Xi Jinping declined to attend the summit in-person or present new targets.

The UK Prime Minister used the summit’s second day to announce two major global pacts; the first to end deforestation by 2030, and the second to deliver clean and affordable technology around the world by the same period.

Australia signed on to both pacts, although the exact nature of its involvement – including new financial commitments – remains unclear.

The second deal, dubbed the Breakthrough Agenda, aims to make clean technologies the “most affordable, accessible and attractive choice for all globally in each of the most polluting sectors by the end of the decade.

The vision, which Mr Johnson said could create 20 million new jobs and inject $16 trillion into the global economy, has five goals covering power, road transport, steel, hydrogen and agriculture.

Zero emissions vehicles would be the “new normal”, with cars accessible and affordable in all parts of the world by 2030, under the plan.

Forty world leaders signed up to the agenda, including global heavyweights US, China and India.

Details on how the plan would be implemented remain scarce, although countries have agreed to discuss progress annually starting from 2022.

Australia’s decision to back the plan comes just under three years after Mr Morrison mocked the electric vehicle target Labor took to the last election, saying it would “ruin the weekend”.

The government’s second low emissions technology statement, which Mr Taylor launched overnight, revealed it now believed that electric cars could reach “cost parity” with internal combustion vehicles as soon as the middle of this decade.

As flagged before the conference, Mr Morrison refused to sign up to US President Joe Biden’s push to slash methane emissions by 30 per cent by the end of the decade.

Mr Taylor last week warned that imposing the target in Australia would threaten the nation’s gas and coal sectors and require “culling herd sizes” of methane-belching livestock.

Extracted from The Canberra Times