Australian Prime Minister Morrison announces he will attend UN climate summit | World news
By Renju José and Colin Packham
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday he would attend the UN’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow as his Conservative government faces global pressure to take further action to cut emissions from carbon.
Morrison had said he was unsure whether he would make it to the summit from Oct.31 to Nov.31. 12 due to the situation with COVID-19, but those concerns are easing as Sydney ends its quarantine requirements on November 1.
World leaders including US President Joe Biden are expected to attend the meeting in Scotland.
“I have confirmed my attendance at the Glasgow summit which I look forward to attending,” Morrison said at a press conference in Sydney.
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“The government will finalize its position for the summit. We are working on these issues.”
While many countries have pledged to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, Australia – one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters per capita – has refused to confirm its targets.
Morrison said Australia wants to achieve net zero “as soon as possible and preferably by 2050” and that it expects to exceed its commitment to cut carbon emissions by 26% to 28% from 2005 levels by 2030.
Morrison is engaged in negotiations with his coalition government’s junior partner, the National Rural Party, on strengthening climate goals.
The national party, which is concerned about the impact of carbon targets on agriculture and coal mining, will meet on Sunday to discuss Morrison’s plan.
Morrison faces a general election by May 2022 and he has to appease moderates in his Liberal Party pushing for climate action, while retaining National Party support.
(Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Tom Hogue, Robert Birsel)
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