The prime minister with the shortest planning horizon in living memory is a laggard, not a leader

Scott Morrison thrives in the empty space between three-year terms and 30-year plans. Whether it is climate change, nuclear submarines or budget repair – it is no accident the prime minister with the shortest planning horizon in living memory is our greatest announcer of long-run plans.

While the vacuousness of Morrison’s net-zero “plan” and his refusal to release the underpinning modelling has been widely condemned, the reality is: no matter how detailed a plan to transition the Australian economy over the next 30 years is, it will always be a work of fiction.

Today I announce the largest and most far-reaching package of measures to address climate change ever undertaken by any government in Australia … It provides a durable framework to promote Australia’s national interest towards the year 2010 and beyond. In a comprehensive manner, it replaces and far exceeds the random, disjointed projects of the previous government.

Without further action, Australia’s emissions are expected to grow by around 28 per cent from 1990 to 2010. This is based on a comprehensive approach excluding land use change. Emissions from the energy sector alone are expected to grow by around 40 per cent. The package I announce today will achieve a dramatic reduction of a third in our expected net emissions growth from 1990 to 2010. These measures will reduce our net emissions growth from 28 to 18 per cent in that period, or some 39 million tonnes of emissions … This is a realistic, even conservative, calculation of the emission benefits.

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