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Australia accused of failing to to ‘pull its weight’ on climate despite praise for Albanese ‘step-up’

Adam Morton Climate and environment editor - The Guardian and Yahoo News UK
6 September 2022

Ban Ki-moon, the former United Nations secretary general, and Laurence Tubiana, known as one of the architects of the Paris climate agreement, told a Canberra conference by video that Labor’s climate change legislation and enhanced commitment to the United Nations were welcome changes. But both said more was needed.

Their speeches coincided with debate in the Senate over the climate bill, which is expected to pass this week with minor changes after the government agreed to some amendments proposed by the independent David Pocock. The legislation includes the national targets of cutting emissions by 43% by 2030 (compared with 2005) and reaching net zero by 2050 and increased advisory powers for the Climate Change Authority.

Ban, now the deputy chair of The Elders, an international non-governmental organisation of public figures, told the Better Futures forum in Canberra that he welcomed the Albanese government prioritising a climate change bill “to lock in new and improved climate ambition”, calling it “the step-up that the world has long been waiting for”.

But he added: “At a minimum the Australian government needs to match the level of ambition for 2030 targets of the United States, the United Kingdom and other trading partners like the European Union and Japan, by at least halving its net emissions this decade.”

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