China, US climate agreement ‘mostly symbolic’

Sky News Political Editor Andrew Clennell says the agreement overnight between the world’s two biggest polluters, China and the US, on climate at COP26 was mostly symbolic but a breakthrough for the summit.

“Mostly symbolic but committing to action on carbon dioxide emissions plus action where Australia avoided making a commitment – reducing methane,” Mr Clennell said.

“The Australian government would argue, as they do on emissions generally, that our performance is a lot better than other countries anyway, so targets a moot point.

“In fact, Australia has reduced its methane emissions by seven per cent since 2005, the US by four per cent, the EU by 18 per cent, Canada by 15 per cent, but the Chinese emissions have grown by 48 per cent.

“As I have previously reported, I expect Labor to announce its climate policy after the next sittings of parliament in November and December.

“Scott Morrison indicated we will get the modelling on the government’s net zero target before parliament resumes on November 22.

“I would suggest Labor could easily go with a 35 per cent target reduction in emissions target for 2030 and argue the government’s projections take us there anyway.

“A more ambitious target from Labor would probably be electoral suicide.”

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