Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that Australia aims to be carbon neutral by 2050. This means that Australia will not emit more carbon dioxide than it absorbs. The climate target is not stipulated in legislation.
The goal comes after international criticism in the run-up to the climate summit that begins at the end of this month in Glasgow, after Morrison had previously refused to put forward a climate goal. Australia is one of the largest producers of gas and coal, and is also one of the most polluting countries in the world.
The prime minister says Australia will achieve the goal largely through technological developments. The government will allocate 20 billion Australian dollars (more than 12.9 billion euros) for this purpose.
coal and gas
Critics speak of a poor plan, in part because the government will rely on consumers and businesses to reduce emissions. They also say Australia cannot continue to depend on coal and gas exports, as demand is shrinking, and workers in those sectors should prepare for this rather than leave it to their own devices.
On the same day Morrison announced the climate goal, residents of two islands off the northern coast of Australia filed charges against his government. They believe that not enough has been done to combat climate change, which means their homes are now threatened by floods and storms, among other things.