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Labor warns of global climate consequences

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has warned global leaders will have long memories of Australia’s climate change policies ahead of a major global conference.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will arrive in Glasgow on Monday for the COP26 talks after spending the weekend with world leaders at the G20 meeting in Rome.

Australia will take a 2050 net zero carbon emissions target to the climate conference, but the government has refused to up its 2030 commitments.

In an interview with AAP, Mr Albanese said the delay in signing up to the mid-century goal could have ramifications on international relations.

“People on the global stage – they’re not goldfish. They have memories,” he said.

“We have a prime minister who has opposed renewable energy targets, who opposed net zero by 2050, who was ridiculed electric vehicles. I think they see that and mark Australia down.”

Mr Morrison has brushed off international and domestic criticism of his government’s climate plan which relies on technology to reduce emissions.

“We’ll make Australian decisions in Australia for Australia’s interest and that’s what I’ll be saying in Glasgow,” he told reporters.

The Liberal leader has accused the opposition of wanting to introduce taxes and mandates to achieve lower emissions.

“I can tell Australians very clearly that if you don’t think technology can do this and you’re not confident about that, and it seems the Labor Party is not, they have two other options,” he said.

“They’ll tax you and they’ll regulate you and force your decisions.”

Labor insists it is waiting to see what comes from the Glasgow conference before releasing its climate targets.

The government has released projections showing Australia will reduce emissions by 30 to 35 per cent by 2030 on 2005 levels.

But it is refusing to lift its 26 to 28 per cent end-of-decade target.

“Two days before he’s about to fly out to Glasgow he produces a glossy booklet and finally the government adopt net zero by 2050 that he has opposed his entire political life,” Mr Albanese said.

“What’s changed? He has to go to a conference. History has caught up with him.”

Mr Morrison has committed to release modelling underpinning the government’s 2050 plan in coming weeks.

Senior industry department official Jo Evans told a Senate estimates hearing the information had been produced but was not yet suitable for publication.

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