Remarks, Leaders Summit on Climate

22 Apr 2021
Prime Minister

Prime Minister Scott Morrison: Well thank you, Mr President, and very much to you for leading this Summit and can I also acknowledge you Mr Secretary as well as Special Envoy Kerry.

It’s right to speak to our ambitions at this Summit, it’s also right to focus on performance.

Australia has a strong track record of setting, achieving and exceeding our commitments to responsibly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and playing our part to keep the 1.5 degrees within reach.

We have met and exceeded our 2020 Kyoto commitments and we are transparent about our progress through our annual projection updates and quarterly carbon reporting.

We are well on the way to meet and beat our Paris commitments and will update our Long Term Emissions Reduction Strategy for Glasgow.

Achieving our 2030 target will see emissions per capita fall by almost half, of our emissions per unit of GDP by 70 per cent.

Already we have reduced our emissions by 19 per cent on 2019- on 2005 levels I should say, more than most other similar economies - and by 36% when you exclude exports.

We are deploying renewable energy ten times faster than the global average per person. We have the highest uptake of rooftop solar in the world.

Australia is on the pathway to net zero. Our goal is to get there as soon as we possibly can, through technology that enables and transforms our industries, not taxes that eliminate them and the jobs and livelihoods they support and create, especially in our regions.

For Australia, it is not a question of if or even by when for net zero, but importantly how.

That is why we are investing in priority new technology solutions, through our Technology Investment Roadmap initiative.

We are investing around $20 billion to achieve ambitious goals that will bring the cost of clean hydrogen, green steel, energy storage and carbon capture to commercial parity. We expect this to leverage more than $80 billion in investment in the decade ahead.

In Australia our ambition is to produce the cheapest clean hydrogen in the world, at $2 per kilogram Australian.

Mr President, in the United States you have the Silicon Valley. Here in Australia we are creating our own ‘Hydrogen Valleys’. Where we will transform our transport industries, our mining and resource sectors, our manufacturing, our fuel and energy production.

In Australia our journey to net zero is being led by world class pioneering Australian companies like Fortescue, led by Dr Andrew Forrest, Visy, BHP, Rio Tinto, AGL and so many more of all sizes.

It is also being pioneered by our agricultural and marine sectors through soil science and sustainable fisheries.

Marine protected areas in Australia are approaching 40 per cent of our waters.

We have already funded over 100 cutting-edge projects to safeguard our global treasure, the Great Barrier Reef, and are committing a further $100 million to protect our oceans, coastal ecosystems and pioneer blue carbon initiatives to mitigate climate change.

We are also providing $1.5 billion in practical climate finance focusing on our blue Pacific family partners in our region.

Mr President, we want to work with others on the ‘how’, through our new international technology partnerships programme, led by Australia’s former Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel.

My Government is committed to playing its part in making COP26 a success in Glasgow, and you can always be sure that the commitments Australia makes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are bankable.

We have proven performance, transparent emissions accounting and transformative technology targets to unlock pathways to net zero.

Future generations, my colleagues and Excellencies, will thank us not for what we have promised, but what we deliver. And on that score Australia can always be relied upon. Thank you for your kind attention.