Atlassian co-founder and perpetual eco-warrior Mike Cannon-Brookes has taken aim at the government’s plan to push technology investment over reducing carbon emissions, saying we already have the tech we need, what’s missing is everything else.
Cannon-Brookes was commenting on the Prime Minister’s pledge, reported last week, to push a ‘technology investment target’ at the UN summit in Glasgow this year, to avoid having to commit to net-zero emissions by 2050.
Appearing on the ABC’s RN Breakfast with Fran Kelly, Cannon-Brookes was asked whether he agreed that technology, rather than taxation or carbon pricing, was the best way to reduce emissions.
He decidedly did not, calling that “a very political statement”.
Having a tech investment roadmap doesn’t remove the need for a target, he argued.
“I don’t think all the solution will be technology,” Cannon-Brookes said.
“There’s got to be economic solutions, there’s got to be industry transition solutions. There’s a whole series of things that are going to be needed, not just technology.”
In fact, he pointed out that we already have the technology required to get to net-zero carbon emissions.
“How we roll it out, how we get it into systems is different than ‘do we need to invent new things’,” he explained.
I don’t often like watching my own answers, but I’m proud of these. They really get to the heart of the issues around technologies and targets. ???? https://t.co/VwTihTKY3o
— Mike Cannon-Brookes ???????????????? (@mcannonbrookes) February 20, 2020
The entrepreneur also took issue with the Prime Minister’s lack of clarity around the proposed roadmap, and what that actually means.
“The important thing is to work out what technologies are they planning to invest in?”
If the government is looking at renewable hydrogen, or storage for renewable energy, for example, then the founder suggested he would be on board.
“We have an amazing continent for energy production, especially in the west of Australia,” Cannon-Brookes said.
“Getting it to the east of Australia — these are technologies we should be investing in, for sure.”
It’s not the first time Cannon-Brookes has publicly opposed Morisson’s approach to energy storage.
Back in 2018, he called ‘bullshit’ on Morrison’s ‘fair dinkum’ pledge to give Aussies access to cheaper non-renewable power.
And, early this year, Cannon-Brookes was named on Bloomberg’s inaugural ‘Green 30’ list.
“For years he’s wielded his Twitter account like a cudgel against Prime Minister Scott Morrison,” Bloomberg observed.