Australia to achieve emissions reduction target "in canter": PM

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-11 11:18:53|Editor: Yang Yi
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CANBERRA, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Australia will not abandon the Paris Agreement and will meet its emissions reduction target, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday.

Morrison said that improved technology meant that Australia would meet its 26-percent emissions reduction target by 2030 "in a canter" and it would not lead to higher power bills.

He said that abandoning the Paris Agreement, an agreement between 196 countries and regions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, would damage Australia's relationship with nations in the Pacific under threat from rising sea levels.

"I'm going to make decisions in the national interest. I have to consider not just the issues here," Morrison told Macquarie Media radio.

"In the Pacific this is an issue that is incredibly important and in the Pacific this issue dominates their thinking and agenda."

The Opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP) has proposed a 45-percent emissions reduction target, a policy that Morrison said would lead to dramatic power price increases.

"Labor will legislate a 45-percent emissions reduction target that will push people's power prices up by 1,400 Australian dollars (995 U.S. dollars) a year," he said.

Morrison used his first partyroom meeting since being sworn-in as Australia's 30th prime minister in August to warn that his governing Liberal-National party coalition had "a mountain to climb" to win the upcoming general election.

A poll released on Sunday night revealed that the ALP was set to win the election in a landslide.

"(ALP leader) Bill Shorten thinks he's already there," Morrison said.

"The Australian people are coming quickly to the realization of what a Shorten government would look like and they recoil," he added.

The prime minister said the events of the past few weeks had been very difficult.

"We have a mountain to climb together."