SYDNEY: Australia´s new prime minister Anthony Albanese announced Thursday that he had written to the United Nations to raise the country´s 2030 emissions reduction target to 43 percent.
Albanese framed the new target — a jump from the country´s previous 26 to 28 percent cut — as a sensible economic choice that offered the “investment certainty” business needed.
The more ambitious target “sets Australia up for a prosperous future, a future powered by cleaner, cheaper energy,” he said.
Albanese said he wanted Australia to “seize the opportunity that is there from acting on climate change”.
Climate action has been politically fraught in Australia, a country where fossil fuels still dominate much of the economy and the domestic energy market.
More than a decade of political sparring — known locally as the “climate wars” — saw Australia labelled a climate laggard internationally, in part due to its unwillingness to phase out coal by 2030.
During his election campaign, Albanese pledged to “end the climate wars” and participate in international efforts to address global warming.
He said Thursday that when speaking with global leaders since taking power “they have all welcomed Australia´s changed position” on climate action.