UK High Commissioner urges Australia to bring more ambitious emissions target to COP26

“The global measure is that the majority of people go somewhere between 40 and 50 percent. So ideally that is what we would like to see.”

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World leaders are being called upon to commit to raising the ambition of their efforts to reduce emissions ahead of the major climate talks, now just weeks away.

COP26 is widely regarded as the most pivotal international meeting on climate change since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015.

Ms Treadell said some countries, such as the UK, had already gone further in strengthening their medium-term commitments.

“My own country, we’re going for 68 percent in 2030 and 78 percent in 2035, so we hope that [Australia do] something along those lines,” she said.

The US has also announced plans to cut emissions by 50 to 52 percent, while Canada has pledged 40 to 45 percent.

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Last week, New South Wales announced it would halve its emissions by 2030, raising the target from 35 percent.

Dozens of countries around the world have also committed to net zero emissions by 2050, but Australia has yet to do so.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is preparing a plan to take to his Nationals colleagues, some of whom are against the target setting.

“We would like to see progress and we know time is running out at 36 days or so from Glasgow,” said Ms Treadell.

Morrison has yet to decide whether to attend the talks in person next month, saying it will coincide with Australia’s reopening from lockdown.

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Ms Treadell said she is still hopeful that the Prime Minister will attend.

“Of course we would like to see Prime Minister Morrison join that global leadership,” said Ms Treadell.

She added that she would be “disappointed” if he didn’t make it to the top, but that she would “understand” if he couldn’t attend.

Last week, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said “history is made by those who show up” and that Mr Morrison’s absence would send a “pretty strong message about his priorities”.

More than 100 world leaders are expected to attend the global talks.

The UK and Australia are negotiating the final elements of a free trade agreement.

Last month, Sky News UK reported that a leaked internal email revealed British government officials gave in to Australian demands to drop key climate change targets from the agreement.

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