He said that the "immediate costs" of moving towards a zero-emissions economy were today "much lower" than he had anticipated in his reviews in 2008 and 2011, largely because of improvements in renewable technology.
He said that Australia could plausibly achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2040, making its contribution to the global effort to limit global warming to 1.5 per cent, if it embraced the Labor party's emissions target. The Labor policy is to cut emissions by 45 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.
However, he said that it was "implausible" to reach net zero in that time if Australia continued with its existing Paris commitment under the Coalition to cut emissions by 26 to 28 per cent.
Moving to cut emissions further "would nurture the three great assets for Australian industrial leadership in the post carbon world economy: globally competitive renewable power; an abundance of biomass for the chemical manufacturing industries; and low cost biological and geological sequestration of carbon wastes."