Malcolm Turnbull has predicted Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison will cave to international pressure and sign up to a net zero emissions target by 2050 after clinging too closely to Donald Trump’s rhetoric.
“I’m confident Morrison will move to that. He probably over-channeled Trump. He was clearly dazzled by Trump and went full-in with that in a number of areas.
“All the talk about being against globalism and so forth was channelling ‘the Donald’, including on climate,” Mr Turnbull told a business summit on Tuesday.
“The reality on climate is all of our major trading partners have a net zero target and the Biden administration will return to the climate fray with a real enthusiasm,”
Mr Turnbull said. “He’s announced John Kerry - who is a real climate action evangelist with huge global credibility - will be the climate tsar and so Australia has to get on board.”
Mr Morrison says net zero carbon emissions by 2050 was achievable but Australia has not committed to a hard energy target for the mid-century.
“We will pay a heavy price for this in international trade, believe me. We are kidding ourselves to think the Europeans will not have climate in the Australia-Europe free trade agreement,” Mr Turnbull said.
“We’re absolutely kidding ourselves and I can see the Americans making that a condition of trade agreements right around the world. What Scott has to do now is pivot or dismount - whatever you want to call it. Whether it’s done elegantly or not it doesn’t really matter - as long as he does it.”