Australia dramatically increases its greenhouse gas targets

Australia confirms a change in its climate policy. New Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced on Thursday that he had officially written to the UN to announce a significant increase in targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Read also: Australia bid to host UN climate summit

The head of the new government centre-left clarified that this objective goes from a reduction of 26-28% to 43% by 2030, as promised in its electoral program.

This more ambitious goal “prepares Australia for a prosperous future, a future driven by cleaner and cheaper energy”, he pleaded, hoping that Australia “seizes the opportunity presented to it to act on climate change”.

Also read: In Australia, 91% of the Great Barrier Reef suffered ‘bleaching’

An election promise

At the end of May, Australia announced that it would “very soon” present more ambitious targets for greenhouse gas emissions. Foreign Secretary Penny Wong then admitted that Australia had “neglected its responsibility” in the past and that Canberra would no longer “ignore” calls from Pacific nations to act on climate change.

“We were elected on a program to reduce emissions (of greenhouse gases) by 43% by 2030 and reach neutrality (carbon) by 2050,” she added. “And these are not just words, we will enshrine it in law and very soon we will submit a new contribution at the national level to the UNFCCC” (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).

Under the previous Conservative government, Australia – one of the world’s largest coal and gas exporters – regularly played spoilsport in international climate negotiations.

On this point: Australia, the ugly climatic duckling

The climate skepticism displayed by the previous Australian prime minister had soured relations between Canberra and its neighbors and allies in the Pacific, a region where China is seeking to extend its influence. Devastating wildfires and record flooding in Australia have highlighted the country’s vulnerability to the consequences of global warming.

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