Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

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Image for read more article 'Scott Morrison unveils Australia's plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050'

But Dr. Kennedy would not go into detail about how their council had supported as yet unreleased modeling behind the government’s strategy.

“We gave some advice, especially about the risks the country faces in relation to domestic and international investors in climate risk management,” he told the hearing.

“What are the risks different companies could face – if Australia were not seen as part of the global consensus on climate change.”

Dr. Kennedy was also questioned whether the Treasury Department had made any modeling of the economic costs or benefits of net zero or climate-related impacts on the economy.

“I do not know if it is eight years – but we have not done so for at least the last couple of years,” he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described the 2050 plan as a “practical way” to achieve CO2 neutrality by 2050, depending on technological developments and carbon offsets to reach the destination.

But the federal government has refused to release the modeling that supports the climate strategy, with Mr. Morrison instead saying that this will be released “eventually.”

The Treasury Department was not consulted on net zero modeling, Senate estimates said

Dr. Kennedy said two Treasury Department staffers had been posted to assist the Department of Science, Industry, Energy and Resources (DISER) in January and August to help with their modeling work.

This included providing economic assumptions about the interest rates that global investors might demand, depending on the climate policy response that was implemented.

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But further pressure would Dr. Kennedy did not give further details about the analysis carried out – with Finance Minister Simon Birmingham claiming cabinet confidence over the information.

“The government has said it will release the modeling when it chooses – it is its decision – that advice is incorporated into that modeling,” said Dr. Kennedy.

Senator Birmingham defended the decision not to release the modeling at this stage as “completely reasonable”.

“We have released a plan – a plan that is now publicly available,” he said.

The modeling to inform the government’s 2050 plan was commissioned by DISER and carried out with support from the consulting group McKinsey & Company.

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham listens to Treasury Secretary Steven Kennedy during the Senate hearing.

Source: AAP

The analysis claims that by relying on the government’s roadmap for technology investment, global trends, technological breakthroughs and equalization, it can reduce emissions by up to 80%.

The plan also describes that Australia’s emissions have already been reduced by 20 per cent since 2005.

McKinsey analysis found that under a net zero plan, job gains could far outweigh job losses driven by shifting customer demand, especially in regional areas.

This included estimates of growth in the mining and heavy industry sectors of up to 62,000 new jobs by 2050.

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Dr. Kennedy said he had not reviewed the McKinsey modeling carefully when asked if he supported the analysis.

“We are aware of their estimates – we have not tried to recreate it or do our own modeling,” he said.

The head of the Ministry of Finance was asked if he was sure whether the “economic results” explained in the government plan would be achieved.

“One thing I’m sure of is that a net zero target by 2050 is easily achievable with the right policies applied over time,” Dr. Kennedy.

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