Scott Morrison has taken aim at international climate change agreements as he signalled an increased focus on new technologies.
The prime minister said the government’s climate action agenda went beyond targets and summits.
“It’s driven by technology, not taxation,” he told the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday.
The federal government will next month release a new technology road map charting the way forward in hydrogen, solar, batteries, transmission, large-scale energy storage and carbon capture.
Mr Morrison said there was “real weaknesses” in global efforts on emissions reduction.
“Current frameworks and agreements globally actually endorse massive increases in emissions from some of the world’s largest and growing economies,” he said.
“The atmosphere doesn’t care where emissions come from. Emissions do not have accents.”
He defended the government’s emissions reduction efforts, repeating the mantra of making and breaking the emissions reduction target of a 26 per cent cut by 2030.
“If legitimate carryover credits are not necessary, then even better,” he said.
Mr Morrison flagged bilateral agreements with state governments on energy and emissions focused on affordability, reliability and emissions reduction – the pillars of the Turnbull government’s ill-fated policy.
He also pinpointed gas as central to the government’s energy agenda.
“Gas can help us bridge the gap while our investments in batteries, hydrogen and pumped hydro energy storage bring these technologies to economic parity with traditional energy sources,” he said.
“So right now, we’ve got to get the gas.”
But the focus on that energy source didn’t go down well with environmentalists.
Greenpeace Australia Pacific head of research Nikola Casule said it was another “logic-defying” false solution to the climate crisis.
“While koalas are burning alive, and fires threaten the nation’s capital, the prime minister is calling for fossil fuels to be added to the fire, by seeking to increase the burning of gas in Australia,” he said.