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Scott Morrison takes Prince Charles aside to discuss Australia’s plan to deliver net zero by 2050

Scott Morrison told Prince Charles that Australia was working closely with its Pacific neighbours on climate change despite calls for more drastic action.

Scott Morrison has touted Australia’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change to the country’s future king.

Prince Charles and the Prime Minister sat down for a tete-a-tete on the sidelines of the final day of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

During the conversation, Mr Morrison told Prince Charles about Australia’s financial commitments to reducing net zero by 2050 as outlined in the national plan presented to delegates during the conference.

“We’ve doubled our climate finance commitments and we’re working very closely with our Pacific family, with Prime Minister (Frank) Bainimarama and the whole team, which I know you have a great affection for the Pacific,” Mr Morrison said.

“Absolutely,” Prince Charles replied.

The conversation comes a month after the future king expressed the importance of world leaders attending and engaging in the climate conference, saying it was a “last chance saloon” to save the planet.

Earlier in the day, Mr Morrison had outlined Australia’s plan to reach net zero by 2050 during a short address.

He said driving down the costs of low and no-emissions technologies was crucial to the target and he had a goal to help Australia’s Pacific and South Asian neighbours do the same.

But Australia will not commit to a more ambitious 2030 target despite Mr Bainimarama, the Fijian Prime Minister, calling on Australia to halve its emissions by 2030.

Australia also did not sign a US and EU-led effort to slash methane emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 from 2020 levels.

Among the signatories is Brazil, one of the five biggest emitters of methane, a gas 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide in warming the earth.

Australia, China, India and Russia have not committed to reducing emissions.

Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said the only way Australia could achieve that target was by culling cattle and sheep numbers.

“At present, almost half of Australia’s annual methane emissions come from the agriculture sector, where no affordable, practical and large-scale way exists to reduce it other than by culling herd sizes,” Mr Taylor said.

Excluding the agriculture industry was part of the Nationals demands in co-signing the net zero by 2050 pledge.

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