The global economic recovery from the coronavirus must include cutting emissions and better use of digital technologies, Australian and European leaders say.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a virtual meeting overnight with the president of the European Council Charles Michel and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.
“The leaders committed to recovery plans that accelerate emissions reductions, and ensure communities and institutions are more resilient and able to adapt to future impacts of climate change, as well as accelerating the digital transformation,” the leaders said in a communique following the meeting.
While Europe is committed to carbon neutrality by 2050, Mr Morrison said Australia would “demonstrate significant ambition on reducing emissions and pursuing a low emissions development strategy in order to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible in accordance with the Paris Agreement”.
The leaders also discussed access to safe, effective and affordable COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, as well as a possible international treaty on pandemics.
Mr Morrison and the two European leaders agreed to co-operate on artificial intelligence, blockchain, the use of digital tools to address climate change and disaster resilience, quantum technology and the role of platforms.
They are also aiming by mid-2021 to strike a global deal on addressing the tax challenges arising from digitisation of the economy.