Anthony Albanese pledges climate commitments

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After the meeting with Quad leaders, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told reporters of his government’s decision to make deeper cuts to carbon emissions.

Mr Albanese stressed the importance of taking action against climate change, promising his government will aim to cut emissions by 43 per cent by 2030.

“That’s why my government will take ambitious action on climate change and increase our support to partners in the region as they work to address it, including with new finance,” he said.

“We will act in recognition that climate change is the main economic and security challenge for the island countries of the Pacific.”

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from ABC 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese declares Australia’s commitment to the Quad “will not change” under his government and says his government’s more ambitious climate policies have been “welcomed” by three major powers in the group.

Mr Albanese met with US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Tokyo for the Quad leaders meeting in his first major act as Prime Minister.

After the meeting, he told reporters that his government’s decision to make deeper cuts to carbon emissions had been “welcomed” by the other three Quad nations, and suggested it would help boost Australia’s standing in the Pacific.

“We know that China is seeking to exert more influence in the Pacific and we know that climate change is such an important issue,” he said.

Mr Albanese said it was an honour to attend the meeting, and the Quad was needed “now more than ever” in order to “meet the challenges and threats of a less certain world [and] to shape that world for the better”.

“We have had a change of government in Australia, but Australia’s commitment to the Quad has not changed and will not change,” he said.

“The new Australian government’s priorities align with the Quad agenda — taking action on climate change and building a stronger and more resilient Indo-Pacific region through better economic security, better cybersecurity, better energy security and better environmental and health security.”

“That’s why my government will take ambitious action on climate change and increase our support to partners in the region as they work to address it, including with new finance,” he said.

“We will act in recognition that climate change is the main economic and security challenge for the island countries of the Pacific.”

Anthony Albanese gives a thumbs up in front of an Air Force jet.
Anthony Albanese flew out of Canberra just hours after becoming Prime Minister.(AAP: Lukas Coch)

The Prime Minister also confirmed that the four leaders discussed China’s strategic gains in the Pacific, including Beijing’s security pact with Solomon Islands.

“We discussed the need for the Quad to engage more in the Indo-Pacific, that was a general theme: ‘How do we engage, how do we make sure we push our shared values.'”

He also confirmed he had received a message of congratulations from Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, but did not say how he’d respond.

“I have received, now, a letter of congratulations from Premier Li as I have from other world leaders and I welcome that,” Mr Albanese told reporters.

“We will respond appropriately in time when we return to Australia.”

The US President thanked Mr Albanese for flying to Tokyo just hours after being sworn in as Prime Minister, joking that he could be forgiven for taking a nap after a long campaign.

“If you fall asleep while you’re here, it’s okay,” Mr Biden said.

Mr Modi and Mr Kishida also both praised Mr Albanese for being there in person.

“You being here with us just 24 hours from being sworn in demonstrates … your commitment to [the Quad],” Mr Modi said.

Four men, leaders of their nations, waving for photographers.
The Quad leaders met in person for the second time, having first met in Washington DC in 2021.(ABC News: Yumi Asada)

China looms over summit

China’s strategic posture and the spectre of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also loomed over the summit.

Mr Kishida began the meeting by once again warning against China’s increasingly aggressive stance towards Taiwan, and seemed to link the issue to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We should never, ever allow a similar incident to happen in the Indo-Pacific,” Mr Kishida said.

Mr Biden said the summit was taking place during “a dark hour in our shared history”.

“The Russian brutal and unprovoked war against Ukraine has triggered a humanitarian catastrophe [with] innocent civilians killed on the streets and millions of refugees are internally displaced,” he told the other leaders.

“This is more than just a European issue. This is a global issue.”

Australia will host the next meeting of the Quad security leaders next year.

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