27 October 2021

Katharine Murphy: “There’s not a lot of good news, so for the sake of all our sanity, let’s start with the good news. The Morrison government has adopted a mid-century target of net zero emissions by 2050. … But sadly, that’s where our good news begins and ends. Morrison’s so-called mid-century plan has very little substantive content. It really is extraordinary that we could spend the best part of a year tracking towards Tuesday’s pre-Glasgow crescendo — and land with a ‘plan’ that is actually the status quo with some new speculative graphs. … According to the government’s materials, nearly half the abatement to be undertaken between now and 2050 will be delivered by ‘global technology trends’, ‘further technology breakthroughs’ and international and domestic offsets. … The concept the prime minister unfurled in the Blue Room at Parliament House on Tuesday was a whole-of-economy transition achieved by technology magic (with a safety valve of carbon offsets in the event that tech is not quite as magical as hoped). Australia’s net zero strategy will be delivered by … wait for it … existing policy.” Laura Tingle’s icy coverage captures the mood.