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Australia pledges to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050

Australia pledges to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's party said Tuesday that the climate plan will create more than 60,000 jobs and raise gross national income by 1.6%. Photo by Mick Tsikas/EPA-EFE

Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Australia, a leading exporter of fossil fuels, said Tuesday it's pledged to lower emissions to net zero by 2050 and make other dramatic reductions by the end of this decade.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia is on track to reduce carbon emissions to 35% below 2005 levels by 2030.

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Morrison, however, refused to commit to ending Australia's fossil fuel industry.

Morrison said the plan is a "practical way" to neutralize Australia's emissions and said "technology breakthroughs" and global trends will help achieve the goal. Another 20%, he said, will be achieved through offsets.

The plan aims to invest $20 billion in clean hydrogen, energy storage, low-cost solar power and low-emissions steel and aluminum.

Morrison's party said the plan will create more than 60,000 jobs and raise gross national income by 1.6%.

The opposition Labor Party said the plan is a "scam" and lacks substance.

Environmental groups expressed disappointment with Australia's target to reduce emissions by the end of the 2020s.

The plan came ahead of next week's COP26 climate summit in Scotland, which some believe to be the last best chance to achieve meaningful gains on reducing global-warming emissions by the end of the century.

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Australia has long been slow to take climate action and is one of the world's most polluting nations, per capita.

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