Australia’s opposition left-wing Labor Party has committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 while admitting Friday it has absolutely no idea how much it will cost or what impact it will have on the economy.
Party leader Anthony Albanese made the promise of the long-term commitment in a major speech to a think tank in Melbourne, SBS News reports.
“This should be as non-controversial in Australia as it is in most nations,” Albanese said. “Action on climate change will mean more jobs, lower emissions and lower energy prices … we have so much to lose by not acting.”
The ruling conservative coalition government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison immediately hit back, labelling the Opposition’s target as “extremist”, suggesting the party is repeating past electoral mistakes by not explaining to the public how much the transition would cost the economy.
Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said his left-wing opponents had not learned from their climate policy mistake of last year when before the federal elections Labor promised “climate action” but could never put a figure on the price to taxpayers.
“It’s a target without a plan to get there, and a 2050 target is no substitute for a 2030 target,” he said.
“Our position is clear – we won’t set new targets without being able to look Australians in the eye and tell them how we’ll get there and how much those policies will cost.”
Labor has not set a shorter-term 2030 target after dumping the plan it took to the May federal election to cut emissions by 45 per cent in the next 10 years.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has held back from signing up to any 2050 target, citing uncertainty about the impact of this transition on jobs or increases to electricity prices.
He was withering in his criticism of the party opposite that seeks to govern while offering no delivery plans or costings for its first major policy pledge.
“Anthony Albanese is just Bill Shorten 2.0 when it comes to not being able to explain to you the cost of his policies,” he said. “He can’t tell you what it costs, he can’t tell you what industries will be affected, he can’t tell you how many jobs will go.”
The Labor Party went to the polls last year with a firm commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions but was roundly defeated, as Breitbart News reported.