Brisbane [Australia], October 26 (ANI): Australia on Tuesday set 2050 net-zero emissions target in the run-up to the UN Climate Conference, COP26, starting in Glasgow at the end of this week.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australians wanted a strategy that "does the right thing on climate change and secures their future in a changing world", reported Bangkok Post.
However, coal-rich Australia shied away from setting more ambitious goals ahead of a landmark UN climate summit.
Widely seen as a climate laggard, Australia is one of the world's largest coal and gas exporters and its conservative government has resisted climate action for most of its eight-year term, reported Bangkok Post.
Morrison refused to strengthen 2030 emissions reduction targets seen as crucial for meaningful climate change action while vowing to work to keep mines operating for as long as possible.
"We want our heavy industries, like mining, to stay open, remain competitive and adapt, so they remain viable for as long as global demand allows," he wrote in an opinion article released by his office.
Australia has previously agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, a target Morrison has claimed the country will "meet and beat", reported Bangkok Post.
The announcement comes just days before Morrison departs for next month's United Nations COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
Australia's reluctance to act had been criticised by close allies such as the United States and Britain, as well as Pacific island neighbours that are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, reported Bangkok Post.
The country's greatest natural tourist drawcard, the Great Barrier Reef, has been badly damaged by waves of mass coral bleaching as ocean temperatures rise.
Ahead of the 12-day Glasgow summit, the UN says more than 130 countries have set or are considering a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, a target it says is "imperative" to safeguard a liveable climate.
COP-26 is being held from October 31, 2021 to November 12, 2021 under the Presidency of the UK partnering with Italy. (ANI)