Australia needs economic plan to succeed in global push to curb emissions: PM Morrison

Students and protesters taking part in a "School Strike 4 Climate" protest in Brisbane on Oct 15, 2021. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

CANBERRA (BLOOMBERG) - Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the nation needs an economic plan to succeed in the global push to curb emissions and fight climate change.

"This change is happening with or without us," Mr Morrison told the Australian Financial Review in an interview published on Saturday (Oct 16). "Our task is to have an economic plan to ensure Australia, and particularly our regions and rural areas, can succeed in this new global shift."

Mr Morrison intends to attend the COP26 United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow, increasing pressure on his government to finally commit to a 2050 net-zero emissions target.

Australia is one of the world's top fossil fuel exporters and has trailed Group of 20 nations by failing to set a formal goal.

His government's junior coalition partner, the National Party, is a strong supporter of the coal industry and has so far been opposed to a net-zero target, citing potential economic risks.

Meanwhile, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg reiterated that investors are "factoring in the net-zero targets" in capital allocation.

"(That's) a reality that we need to be very conscious of because we want to benefit from these changes that are occurring in international capital markets, not be disadvantaged by them," Mr Frydenberg said in a televised briefing on Saturday.

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