Climate for net-zero changes Down Under

2 minute read

A woman looks out toward a submerged structure visible in floodwaters in the suburb of Windsor as the state of New South Wales experiences widespread flooding and severe weather, in Sydney, Australia, March 22, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

HONG KONG, Oct 12 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison is dithering daily about attending the looming COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. Meanwhile, his right-wing coalition government still has no plan to improve its target of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 28% by 2030 or to take them to net zero by 2050. That could be about to change.

The influential Business Council of Australia just called for slashing emissions by 60% by 2030. Ahead of Morrison’s 2019 election win, the lobby group called the left-wing opposition’s 45% aim for the same year “economy-wrecking”. And on Monday Rupert Murdoch’s large stable of Australian newspapers started supporting net zero, too. read more

New South Wales has given Morrison additional cover by upping its 2030 reduction target to 50%. That means the country’s top-four emitting states alone have pledged between them to achieve a 35% drop in greenhouse gases by then, Breakingviews calculates.

That should make coming up with the numbers easier. The tricky bit for Morrison will be proving he is not greenwashing read more . (By Antony Currie)

On Twitter

Capital Calls - More concise insights on global finance:

Supply chain pain is just one of ASOS’ concerns read more

Green investors get timely reminder of their power read more

Renren payout only helps prove Cayman rule read more

Meituan antitrust fine is taste of what’s to come read more

German pet retailer scrap has more rounds to go read more

Editing by Una Galani and Katrina Hamlin

Reuters Breakingviews is the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big business and economic stories as they break around the world every day. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides expert analysis in real time.

Sign up for a free trial of our full service at and follow us on Twitter @Breakingviews and at All opinions expressed are those of the authors.

More from Reuters