How the Australian government’s 2050 net zero pledge was reported around the world

The Australian government’s net zero by 2050 plan has been met with scepticism overseas, with major international media organisations labelling Scott Morrison’s announcement this week “hollow” and “hard to believe”.

Some of the harshest criticism came from CNN, which labelled Australia “the rich world’s weakest link at Cop26”. The broadcaster contrasted the Morrison government’s “defiant” climate plan against the US, UK and EU’s efforts to legislate net zero and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

“It should be a moment to celebrate,” CNN’s analysis stated. “But in reality, Morrison will go to Cop26, reluctantly, with the weakest climate plan among the G20’s developed nations.”

CNN declared ‘Australia will be the rich world’s weakest link at COP26’.
Photograph: CNN

The BBC’s coverage was also cynical of how Australia – as a “massive exporter” of fossil fuels with “some of the highest emissions per head of population” – has “long dragged its heels on climate action”.

Morrison’s promise to “strike a balance” between investing in low-emissions technologies, avoiding climate tax, maintaining the coal industry, while still reaching net zero by 2050, was received with scepticism by the British broadcaster’s Australia correspondent, Shaimaa Khalil.

“While this is a big moment for Australia, the details are still murky and potentially problematic on how net zero will be achieved,” she wrote.

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