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Scott Morrison has told world leaders that future generations will “thank us not for what we have promised, but what we deliver” in his contribution at a virtual climate action summit convened by the president of the United States, Joe Biden.

With major countries, including the host, lining up at the event to significantly upgrade their emissions reduction targets, and with world leaders highlighting the urgency of ambitious action in the coming decade, Morrison made no new commitment, instead sticking to the country’s 2030 target of a 26%-28% cut compared with 2005 levels.

Australia’s prime minister said the government would “update our long-term emissions reduction strategy” ahead of the UN COP26 summit in Glasgow in November. He delivered his statement early on Friday morning while Biden, who had opened the summit, was not in the room.

While other nations used their speaking slots to welcome the US back to global climate action after the setbacks and rancour of the Trump era, and to focus predominantly on the importance of cooperative, urgent, action, Morrison’s contribution struck a different tone.


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