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Budget policies top PM priorities over COP27

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese won't be at COP27, and says he can't be in all places at once.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese won't be at COP27, and says he can't be in all places at once. Photo: AAP

The prime minister has defended his decision not to attend a major global climate conference which starts this weekend.

Anthony Albanese said he would focus on passing his government’s policies during the final three parliament sitting weeks.

Preparations are also underway for an upcoming trip to G20, APEC and the East Asia Summit.

He will travel to Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia for nine days after the sitting week before returning for the last sitting fortnight of the year.

“So I have a very busy schedule of parliament, international conferences and then back to parliament, making sure our agenda gets through,” he said.

“I can’t be in all places at once. I’m sure if I was going people would be saying why wasn’t I attending parliament.”

The government will instead be represented by Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen and assistant minister Jenny McAllister.

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek will then travel to the COP biodiversity conference in Montreal in December after parliament wraps up for the year.

Prime Minister Albanese said the COP27 summit in Egypt would be focused on the implementation of current commitments, not the establishment of new ones.

“We’ve already advanced our changed policy,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Albanese said this stood in stark contrast to the former Morrison government, which was represented at the previous COP summit in Glasgow and didn’t offer anything new.

“The Glasgow conference was about increased contributions for 2030,” he said.

“The former government failed to do that and it probably would’ve been better off if they didn’t go at all.”

– AAP

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