Australia hopes to host the 2026 COP summit, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Saturday, seeking to overhaul his country’s reputation for dragging its feet on climate change.
“It’s a good opportunity I believe for Australia to show and host what is a major world event,” Albanese said during a visit to Bangkok.
The centre-left Albanian was swept to power this year on a wave of popular anger over the pro-fossil fuel stance of Australia’s decade-old Conservative government.
He has since introduced a net-zero emissions target for 2050 – not ambitious by global standards, but a near-revolution for Australia, one of the world’s biggest gas and coal producers.
He has also pledged to co-host a COP summit with allies from the Pacific Islands, which are at serious risk from rising sea levels and have long been critical of Australia’s skepticism of change. climatic.
Albanese may have been hoping to host the event before being re-elected in 2025, but diplomatic haggling means 2026 is now more likely.
The United Arab Emirates is expected to host the talks in 2023, a European country is hoping for the 2024 event and Brazil is bidding for the 2025 talks, leaving 2026 as the likeliest option for Australia.
“I had a very positive response from all the nations I raised the issue with,” Albanese said.
If the summit materializes, it would be a symbol of a sea change for Australia.
In successive COP talks, the country’s delegation has been a thorn in the side of negotiators, refusing to compromise and winning deep exclusions that have significantly weakened comprehensive agreements.
The Climate Council’s Wesley Morgan, an expert on Australia and Pacific policy, described Australia’s COP bid as a “very big deal”.
This, he said, would confirm Australia’s move away from fossil fuels, improve the sometimes strained relationship with the Pacific islands and could even force Canberra to adopt more ambitious targets.
“I hope (this) means that Australia will engage in serious policy for deeper emissions reductions in this decade,” he said.
Australia remains a major producer of fossil fuels and coal mining provides thousands of jobs in key constituencies.
But seething public anger over the devastating bushfires and two years of massive flooding have bolstered national support for change.
Albanese has pledged to transform the sunny island continent into what it calls a “renewable energy superpower”.
© 2022 AFP
Quote: Australia aims to host UN climate summit in 2026 (November 19, 2022) Retrieved November 19, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-11-australia-aims-host-climate- summit.html
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