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Marise Payne says net zero is the broad position of governments as it reduces citizens’ climate revolt | Australian foreign policy

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Marise Payne has said zero net emissions as soon as possible and possibly by 2050 is the broad position of the Australian government, minimizing claims by the Nationals their deal was not sought or given for a zero net target.

In an interview with ABCs Insiders, the foreign minister also said that Australia’s position matters because climate change is a major security challenge for the Pacific, and acknowledged that joint naval exercises in the South China Sea are at least partially aimed at China. for its record human rights

Scott Morrison has been trying to telegraph a key point in climate policy since the election of Joe Biden as US president, signaling that Australia wants to reach zero zero as soon as possible and possibly by 2050.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants Australia to unveil more ambitious commitments ahead of the UN climate change summit in Glasgow in November, and he maximized Morrison’s comments in London this week by saying Australia had already declared zero.

On Thursday, Resources Secretary Keith Pitt said the government had not pledged to zero by 2050 and that such a target would absolutely cause damage to regional communities.

Pitt was backed by National team leader Michael McCormack, who stated that his party would not accept a 2050 target as a commitment set on the eve of Glasgow.

On Sunday, Payne said Australia wants to aim to reach zero emissions, possibly by 2050, and that was the clear position the prime minister has articulated.

It’s a reasonable position and we need to make sure we do not do it by penalizing our businesses, farmers and producers through taxes, but an absolute focus on low emissions.

Asked if this was the position of the governments, Payne acknowledged: This was the broad position of the Australian government.

Payne said Australia is building a pathway that leads to a technology-driven, non-tax-driven solution to reducing emissions which she said would benefit from partnerships with countries including Germany, Singapore and Japan.

Asked how Australia’s position on climate would affect its international position, Payne replied: “These discussions always matter and that is why the Prime Minister took his views and ours to the G7 Plus.”

Payne noted that Australia had signed the Boe statement recognizing climate as a key security challenge in the Pacific.

We understand and support both of those statements and work closely with our partners in the Pacific to address the issues, Payne said.

In the Boe statement, Australia and other Pacific nations reaffirmed that climate change remains the single greatest threat to the livelihood, security and well-being of the peoples of the Pacific and committed to advancing the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

On his recent post-G7 trip, Morrison rallied Australia’s allies toward greater global cooperation to ensure Indo-Pacific peace and stability, striking China for undermining the rule of law and threatening a world order that favors freedom.

Payne welcomed comments from the UK, US and France acknowledging the challenges of the geostrategic environment and Australia’s position.

I think what the G7 Plus meeting has shown, and a number of our other commitments, is an understanding that the issues around strategic competition, the issues we are facing in the Indo-Pacific are very real.

Asked about Australia’s decision to send naval vessels to support the strike group of Britain carriers in the South China Sea, Payne said this is one of a number of recent exercises that enhance interoperability and support for international law enforcement. .

In response to comments by Boris Johnson that the exercises are partly motivated by the treatment of the Uinas by China and the general crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong, Payne described naval exercises as routine, but added that Australia is not denying the challenges of strategic uncertainty.

I think there are a number of issues at play. And of course, Australia has been very clear in our views on human rights issues in China, including in relation to Xinjiang.

Payne declined to comment on reports that China’s Deputy Minister of State Security has left for the United States and may have passed information on the origin of Covid-19.

Payne said the first phase of the investigation into Covid’s origin had significant limitations in terms of delays in its deployment, access to information, access to appropriate scientific and medical evidence.

Australia is determined to work with its partners to ensure that the second phase of the investigation is able to use the material it needs, including within China, she said.

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