Scott Morrison is set to reveal Australia’s new net zero plan, which will focus on hydrogen energy, electric vehicles and new infrastructure

Scott Morrison is set to reveal Australia’s new net zero plan, which will focus on hydrogen energy, electric vehicles and new infrastructure
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  • Australia’s updated emissions reduction plan is expected to arrive as early as Tuesday.
  • The plan reportedly focuses on hydrogen energy, beefed-up electric vehicle policies and huge infrastructure investment.
  • Concessions to the National Party were needed to get the junior Coalition partner onside.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to reveal the outline of Australia’s plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050 as early as Tuesday, with reports suggesting the scheme will prioritise hydrogen as a fuel source, electric vehicle policies and massive energy infrastructure expenditure.

But the full scope of the plan may be some time coming, with a suite of concessions made to the National Party unlikely to be locked in this week.

The Age reports the federal cabinet agreed to a new net zero by 2050 plan on Monday night, including a pledge to surpass Australia’s current goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by between 26 to 28 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030.

The Coalition is reportedly set to announce an updated emissions reduction goal of up to 36 per cent by 2030.

Such a target would be an improvement on Australia’s existing goals, which experts have long criticised as insufficient to meet the mounting climate crisis.

However, climate scientists have posited that global emission reductions must halve on 2005 levels by 2030 to keep global temperatures from rising 2°C. International allies, including the U.S., have recently pledged 50 to 52 per cent reductions by 2030.

The federal government is expected to lean on ‘clean’ fuel policies to meet its recalibrated goals, focusing on hydrogen energy, the promotion of electric vehicles and boosted public spending on energy infrastructure to get there.

Speaking to ABC Radio Tuesday morning, Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said the plan “invests in ways that achieve growth in new energy sectors, in new resources sectors, in new parts of the economy that can support them into the future”.

As the nation waits for a more precise breakdown, questions remain over what measures the Liberal Party offered its junior Coalition partner to sweeten the deal and secure their backing.

The Nationals only provided in-principle support to updated climate commitments on Sunday, days before Morrison is slated to present the national plan at the landmark COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

Some of those concessions are already in the open. Resources Minister Keith Pitt, a longtime coal advocate and critic of climate panic, will return to federal cabinet, bringing another Nationals MP into the government’s inner sanctum.

It is understood the Productivity Commission will also conduct a review every five years to assess the economic impact of the nation’s green efforts on regional communities.

However, many of the big ticket items sought by the Nationals may be subject to final tweaking and not locked in for months to come.

At least one Nationals member claims to have major reservations about the deal.

Speaking to ABC’s “RN Breakfast” Tuesday morning, Senator Matt Canavan suggested net zero emission targets are a slap in the face to regional communities focused on extractive industries.

“I was always not for sale on this issue, so there weren’t really any sale conditions that would have changed my mind,” Canavan said of the Coalition deal.