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Speers is trying to work out exactly how much the government’s plan to reach net zero by 2050 will cost.
Speers wants to find out how much the plan is going to cost taxpayers, which Taylor disputes; the government’s line on climate action has for a long time been “technology not taxes” (even though government spending comes from taxpayer dollars).
I understand that’s what you’re hoping, but just to be clear, what are taxpayers going to have to pay under your plan to get to net zero?
Taxpayers are not paying anything, we are not raising taxes. That’s the important point here.
You are using taxpayers’ dollars, right, which could either be used to pay off debtor spend on hospitals or whatever. You are using taxpayers’ dollars. $20 billion you mentioned to get to2030. To get to net zero by 2050, what’s the cost to taxpayers?
Well, let’s be clear about what that $20billion is. That is money that we have invested through the CSIRO, the climate Solutions Fund, a range of different sources to bring down the costs of those technologies so they can raise productivity, strengthen the economy and grow the economy.
Well, the whole purpose of the plan is to avoid imposing costs on Australians by deploying technology which has been the great engine behind human history, and achieving, solving hard problems, avoiding imposing those costs by deploying technology and not deploying taxes.
Now, we are investing $20bn in targeted expenditure. We’ve been laying that out, prioritising clean energies like clean hydrogen, low-emissions steel and aluminium … to carbon capture and storage, stored energy. These are the technologies we know cannot just reduce emissions for Australia, but reduce emissions around the world, David, and that’s why we are focused on those technologies. That’s how we do this.