Thursday, 3 June 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction. Will the minister update the House on progress the Morrison government has made on our 'technology, not taxes' approach to reducing emissions and how this approach also creates jobs and supports industry?
I thank the member for Curtin for her question. As a former vice-chancellor and researcher she knows how important clean technology is to reducing emissions. She also understands how important it is to understand Australia's performance in this area—to talk Australia up, not down, as others enjoy doing. Of course our track record is an enviable one. Our emissions are down 20.1 per cent since 2005, the lowest level of emissions since 1990. We've met and beaten our 2020 target and we're on track to meet and beat our 2030 target. Our electricity emissions are lower than they have been since records began, 5.6 per cent down in the last year alone thanks in part at least to Australia's world-beating deployment of renewables. We have the highest level of household solar in the world, with one in four houses having solar on their roofs, 15,000 households in the member for Curtin's electorate alone. We have more solar and wind deployment per person than any country in the world outside of Europe. This is because, when technologies make economic sense, Australians deploy them fast. We're seeing that every day. The IEA director, Fatih Birol, has pointed out that the global challenge to reduce emissions 'calls for massive leaps in innovation. Innovation across batteries, hydrogen, synthetic fuels, carbon capture and many other technologies.' That's why our technology investment road map is focused on doing exactly that—technologies like hydrogen, carbon capture and storage and of course healthy soils.
We've re-funded ARENA with an extra $1.6 billion to invest in all clean technologies, not just a select few. The new funding mandate has been welcomed by ARENA and many other organisations—21 businesses, industry groups and peak bodies—and through that technology investment road map we as a country will invest $80 billion in clean energy technologies in the coming decade, creating 160,000 jobs focused on R & D and Australian innovation. This technology-first approach will see us meet and beat our emissions targets whilst continuing to grow our export industries and jobs. We won't sacrifice industries and jobs in order to bring down emissions. We are getting on with the job.