New PM Albanese heads to Quad meeting in Japan

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at lectern (vietnam)
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

Australia’s new government will have its first chance to repair the nation’s tarnished climate reputation on the world stage, with new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese heading to the Quad meeting in Japan.

The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Penny Wong will attend the Quad Leaders’ Summit in Tokyo alongside leaders from the United States, Japan and India to discuss health, security and climate change. The Quad countries have established a climate working group to cut emissions in the Indo-Pacific, and help countries in the region respond to the climate crisis.

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Climate Council Researcher, climate diplomacy expert and research fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute Dr Wesley Morgan said, “The Quad meeting is Prime Minister Albanese’s first chance to showcase what strong leadership looks like from a country that’s been a global climate embarrassment for far too long. 

“This is a pivotal moment. Climate action is a key area for cooperation among Quad states who make up some of our most important trading partners and allies. The US in particular, our key security ally, has pressed Australia to do more on climate as part of Quad collaboration.

“The US has integrated climate policy into its Indo-Pacific Strategy—Washington wants to see countries in the region setting stronger emissions targets, and wants to serve as the preferred partner as the region transitions to a net-zero future. Australia must work with our key ally toward a net-zero Indo-Pacific.

“We are well-placed to be a renewables superpower in the region. As one of the sunniest and windiest places on the planet – we should be cashing-in on supplying growing economies with our clean energy, minerals and products.” 

What are the Quad state’s climate targets? 

  • The US is cutting its emissions 50-52% by 2030 (from 2005 levels), is on track for 100 per cent clean electricity by 2035 and has a 2050 net zero target. 
  • Japan, one of the biggest buyers of our coal and gas, has a 46 per cent emissions reductions target for 2030 (from 2005 levels) and committed to net zero by 2050. 
  • India, one of the world’s biggest emitters, has a net zero by 2070 target and committed to a 30-35 per cent cut in emissions intensity by 2030 (from 2005 levels).
  • The incoming Labor government of Australia has committed to a 43 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030 (from 2005 levels) and has a net zero by 2050 target. 

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“We need to shake the climate handbrake title that has been with us for the past nine years under a Coalition government. The new Prime Minister needs to ensure we are taken seriously on the greatest and most pressing issue of our time,” Dr Morgan said. 

“It’s in Australia’s economic and security interests to prioritise climate action, which could deliver widespread benefits to communities all over the country.

“Australian voters have been very clear on what they want: decisive climate action this decade.” 

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