Australian PM to attend November COP26 summit in Glasglow
Sydney, Australia, Oct 15 (EFE).- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison Friday said he would attend the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in the Scottish city of Glasgow in November.
The announcement follow a controversy at the end of September over doubts about his participation.
“It is an important event,” Morrison said told reporters.
Two weeks ago, he had said he was undecided about going to Glasgow due to the two-week quarantine he would have to undergo on his return to Australia.
The confirmation came on the same day that New South Wales state, whose capital is Sydney, announced that it would eliminate mandatory quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers from Nov. 1.
“The government will be finalizing its position for me to take to that summit prior to my departure over the next fortnight,” Morrison said.
The refusal of the more conservative wing to adopt a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050 has divided the Morrison-led coalition government, saying that it would affect the mining and agricultural sectors, both important drivers of the country’s economy.
The Australian prime minister, who had said at the beginning of the year that his government’s goal was to achieve net zero emissions “preferably” by 2050, remarked that “the challenge is not about the if and the when, the challenge is about the how.”
Morrison said his plan, which he presented to the cabinet earlier this week, would ensure the development of rural regions and the generation of jobs.
“It’s not just about hitting net zero. That’s an important environmental goal. But, what’s important is that Australia’s economy goes from strength to strength, and the livelihoods and the lives that Australians know, particularly in rural and regional areas, are able to go forward with hope and with confidence,” he added.
Australia, which is one of the largest exporters of coal and gas and hence one of the biggest per-capita greenhouse gas emitters, has come under pressure from the United States and the United Kingdom to commit more to the fight against climate change.
The Australian Reserve Bank warned this week that the country runs the risk of seeing the investment of foreign funds slow down and registering an increase in costs if it refuses to join the international commitment against the climate crisis. EFE