- NSW expects to attract $27 bln investment
- NSW emissions cuts based on wind, solar power, EV growth
- Federal government resists tougher 2030 target
MELBOURNE, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Australia’s New South Wales state, the country’s biggest coal producer, said on Wednesday it expects to cut its carbon emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2030, stepping up climate action in a country seen as a global laggard.
The conservative New South Wales government projects it will achieve emissions reductions between 47% and 52% by 2030, up from a previous goal of 35%, because of policies promoting renewable energy, biogasand electric vehicles introduced over the past 18 months.
In contrast, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, concerned about coal jobs and stable, low-cost power supply, has resisted pressure to raise its target to cut carbon emissions ahead of a UN Climate Summit next month. The country has pledged to cut by 26% to 28% from 2005 levels by 2030.
Instead he has said the country wants to reach net zero emissions “as soon as possible, preferably by 2050” and aims to map out how ahead of the Glasgow summit, which he may not attend.
“There’s no country that stands to benefit more from this transition than Australia, and we should get ahead of the curve and grab these opportunities rather than being left behind,” New South Wales Energy Minister Matt Kean said.
Kean said modelling showed the state’s new target would help it attract more than A$37 billion ($27 billion) in private sector investment in technologies such as renewable power, energy storage and electric vehicle infrastructure.
The state has legislated development of 12 gigawatts (GW) of wind and solar farms and 2 GW of long duration energy storage to be built by 2030 as coal-fired power plants retire. Kean expects to release a hydrogen development plan soon.
“We’re going to meet our targets regardless of what the Commonwealth government does,” Kean told Reuters.
The new target was endorsed by the Nationals party in the state, the same party that on the federal level is seen standing in the way of more ambitious emission cutting targets, amid concern about the impact on coal mining and farming jobs.
While the Australian government has refused to beef up its targets, all eight of Australia’s states and territories have a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 and three now aim to cut emissions by 50% by 2030 from 2005 levels.
($1 = 1.3778 Australian dollars)
Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Christian Schmollinger
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Read More: Australia’s top coal-exporting state expects to halve carbon emissions by 2030