Australia joins G7-backed “climate club”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (climate club)
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced Australia will join the G7-backed “climate club” to further Australia’s contributions in tackling climate change at a global level.

The Climate Club was formed last year by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Other members include G7 countries Germany, France, Italy, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, United States, European Union Council and Commission, as well as Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

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“We’re very pleased to join the climate club because we are ambitious and we also see that this isn’t just the right thing to do by the environment, but this is also the right thing to do by jobs and by our economy,” Albanese said at a news conference in Berlin after meeting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

“One thing we can do is to cooperate and learn off each other, because you can’t address climate change as just a national issue. It has to be by definition, a global response,” Albanese said.

The news was welcomed by Climate Council director of research Dr Simon Bradshaw, who said, “Joining the climate club is a good move, but must be backed by stronger steps at home to phase out fossil fuels and build the clean industries of the future.

“International collaboration is key to achieving the emissions reductions we need to combat the climate crisis. But we need to see any new international partnerships backed with real action.

“The fact is Australia’s emissions reduction target remains weaker than Europe’s, the US, and other members of the climate club. We will now rightly see even more international pressure on Australia to up our game.

“The climate club aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. However, this is far too slow—we really should be aiming to achieve net zero by 2035.”

Climate Councillor and economist Nicki Hutley said joining the climate club was symbolic of our reputational shift from a climate outlier and laggard to one that is now being welcomed back into the fold.

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“Previously, at COP meetings, Australia was almost considered an outcast. Now, we’re welcomed by other nations. Despite making progress, we can and should accelerate our emissions reduction efforts, given our vast natural and financial resources,” she said.
“We mustn’t rest on our laurels, but we are certainly being welcomed into the international fold more than we have been for a long time.”

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