Australia’s ambition on climate change was the hot topic of a call between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and US President Joe Biden’s special envoy on the issue.
John Kerry has been targeting a handful of countries to take stronger action since being appointed by Mr Biden, who recommitted the US to the Paris climate agreement within hours of assuming office.
Mr Morrison’s office said the pair had a “constructive” call on Wednesday morning.
The prime minister reiterated his government’s target of reaching net zero emissions “as soon as possible and preferably by 2050”.
“They discussed the critical role that technology, such as hydrogen breakthroughs, had to play in reducing global emissions, particularly in developing countries,” an account of the call provided by Mr Morrison’s office said.
“They agreed that there was increasing momentum in business and finance in driving economic opportunities from the transition to the new energy economy and that Australia is keen to be a part of (it).
“They spoke about further collaboration between Australia and the US on research, innovation and clean technology, including through our new bilateral working group.”
Mr Morrison’s office said Australia’s achievement on reducing emissions had been recognised, with the prime minister pointing to the need to focus on achievements to date.
According to government data, Australia’s emissions have reduced by 19 per cent since 2005.
That’s part of the way to the 2030 goal of reducing 2005 levels by 26 to 28 per cent.
The US is hosting a climate summit on April 22, and is expected to announce its 2030 emissions reduction targets before then.
It is currently aiming to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2025.
Mr Kerry and Energy Minister Angus Taylor have both addressed the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue.
It’s the first time an Australian minister has been involved in the event, which includes a raft of global energy and climate experts.
Mr Taylor talked up his low emissions technology roadmap, which the government will put $18 billion towards over a decade.
It focuses on lowering the cost of five key technologies such as hydrogen, power storage and soil carbon, in order to reduce emissions.
“We welcome ambition, but practical action and achievement are what actually matter,” Mr Taylor said.
“Our technology-led plan will see Australia supporting global efforts to reduce emissions as we recover from the global pandemic.”