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Can Australia reach net zero emissions by 2050?

Australia has one of the highest per capita emissions of carbon dioxide in the world, well above the developed world average.

The Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has hinted he won’t sign up to a net zero target before he can quantify the costs of action. Luckily, the CSIRO research suggests that Australia can reach net zero target by 2050 without a major hit to the economy or to wages.

There are certain goals that must be met if Australia is remain within 2C warming.To start with, the country would need at least half of all new cars in 10 years time to be electric vehicles.

Besides that, renewable energy sources would need to account for more than 70% of energy generation by 2030.

Anna Skarbek, the chief executive of ClimateWorks, a non-profit advisory body, recently told an ANU forum that reaching net zero in Australia was entirely possible but would require "vastly scaling up carbon sequestration through forestry to buy us time to also scale up the research and development for the residual emissions".

The Australian government is expected to shortly release its own technology roadmap, work that forms part of its intentions and measures on driving the transition to low emissions.

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