Britain steps up climate pressure on Australia

Scott Morrison with Boris Johnson at Downing Street after the G7 summit in June.

Scott Morrison with Boris Johnson at Downing Street after the G7 summit in June. Photo: AAP

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stressed the importance of ambitious emissions reduction targets to Scott Morrison.

Australia is under intense international pressure to beef up its action on climate change ahead of a major global conference in Glasgow in November.

Mr Morrison spoke to his British counterpart on Thursday night with emissions targets again featuring in their talks.

“The [British] Prime Minister underlined the importance of global action on climate change,” a Downing Street spokesman said.

“This includes setting ambitious targets for reaching net zero and increasing climate financing.”

Australia has not signed up to a net zero carbon emissions by 2050 target but the government describes achieving the goal as preferable.

Mr Morrison’s spokesman said the two men discussed the “ambitious” agenda for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties.

“Prime Minister Johnson noted Australia’s world-leading efforts to develop technology to help reduce global emissions,” he said.

“The leaders welcomed the agreement to develop a partnership between the two nations on low emissions solutions.”

The Coalition is divided on a net zero 2050 target with Nationals opposed and some Liberals in inner-city electorates supporting signing on.

Other nations are setting more ambitious shorter-term goals.

US deputy climate chief Jonathan Pershing this week said Australia should commit to greater emissions cuts or explain to the world why it won’t.

Labor has urged the government take a higher medium-term target to the Glasgow climate talks.


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