Newly elected Labor Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, as well as an unprecedented number of elected Green and Independent candidates, are already setting targets to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions and reach net zero.
After climate change was noted as a key concern for many voters, Mr Albanese announced a number of commitments to climate action.
Prior to Mr Albanese’s election, the Labor Party announced its commitment to a 43 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030 (from 2005 levels) and a net zero by 2050 target.
Mr Albanese will travel to Tokyo on 24 May to a meeting of the Quad security organisation, where he will meet with US President, Joe Biden; India Prime Minister, Narendra Modi; and Japan Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida.
The Prime Minister and new Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, will attend the Quad Leaders’ Summit to discuss health, security and climate change.
The Quad countries have established a climate working group to cut emissions in the Indo-Pacific, and help countries in the region respond to the climate crisis.
Due to the timing of the meeting, Mr Albanese’s rapid swear-in into office has marked one of the fastest changes of federal government in Australia’s history.
Dr Wesley Morgan, Climate Council Researcher, climate diplomacy expert and research fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute, said, “This is a pivotal moment. Climate action is a key area for cooperation among Quad states who make up some of our most important trading partners and allies.
“The US in particular, our key security ally, has pressed Australia to do more on climate as part of Quad collaboration.
“As one of the sunniest and windiest places on the planet – [Australia] should be cashing-in on supplying growing economies with our clean energy, minerals and products.
“It’s in Australia’s economic and security interests to prioritise climate action, which could deliver widespread benefits to communities all over the country.”
In addition to his commitments to climate action, Mr Albanese also announced several other policy priorities, including:
- A national reconstruction fund
- Full implementation of the respect at work report recommendations
- Affordable child care
- Aged care
- Strengthening Medicare