CANBERRA, AAP – An anti-coal pledge will not be signed by a Labor government but Australia could still host key climate change conferences, the opposition leader says.
Anthony Albanese confirmed Labor would not sign a pledge to phase out coal use if elected, despite 40 countries agreeing to it at the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow last year.
Asked why Australia wouldn’t sign the pledge, Mr Albanese said coal was still part of the country’s energy mix.
But Labor’s commitment to action on climate change would favour Australia’s chances when it comes to hosting a significant climate conferences such as the UN Conference of Parties, Mr Albanese said.
“I think we would have a very good chance of hosting a COP conference … our proposal goes to Australia and the Pacific hosting a COP conference,” he told reporters in Brisbane on Wednesday.
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“Our climate plan is about deeper engagement with the Pacific … It is an opportunity for us to embrace them (and) it’s the sort of constructive relationship building that has been missing from this government.”
Mr Albanese said Labor’s climate policies were backed by industry groups such as the Business Council of Australia, National Farmers Federation and Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“We can end the climate wars in this country,” he said.
“Our response on climate change, including engagement with our Pacific neighbours, will lead to cheaper, cleaner energy, that will allow investment in advanced manufacturing, that will allow more things to be made here.”