was elected on Saturday (21), New Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanesepromised major changes to the country’s climate policy – which has one of the highest rates of emissions among rich nations and, at the same time, has been plagued by a wave of climate-related tragedies.
Albanese of the Labor Party (centre left), so far in opposition. He defeated Prime Minister Scott Morrison, of the Liberal-National Coalition, and will be sworn in on Monday (23). But it is not yet clear whether his party will win a majority in parliament.
The new ruler stated in his victory speech that Australia Can “seize the opportunity to become a superpower in the field of renewable energy”. At the same time, he is under pressure to take tougher measures in the face of the country’s high coal consumption.
Climate change is a major concern for Australian voters, who have suffered record-breaking three years of bushfires and floods, killing hundreds of people and killing billions of animals.
The problem is made more serious as it converges with the housing cost crisis: it is estimated that one in every 25 homes in Australia He will not be able to get fire or flood insurance, as in areas considered high risk.
This combination of problems is expected to increase social inequalities and create “climate ghettos”: home prices without insurance will be lowered and vulnerable families, unable to defend themselves against extreme weather events, will be inhabited.
Meanwhile, among the developed countries, the Australia It is considered one of the least ambitious in climate policy and has one of the highest rates of greenhouse gas emissions per capita. The country still relies on coal for most of its electricity and is an exporter of fossil fuels.
Incumbent Prime Minister Morrison, who failed to be re-elected, has pledged to cut Australian emissions, but current climate policy is one of the main points that has caused many Australian voters to distance themselves from the current government. A famous spectacle occurred in the country in 2017, when Morrison took a piece of coal to Parliament and praised the importance of fossil fuels to the Australian economy.
Australia has experienced three years of record bushfires and floods, and is one of the wealthy countries least ambitious in terms of emissions reduction targets.
Now, if Labor fails to pass the 76-seat parliament to a majority, independent lawmakers and the Green Party – groups that have campaigned for radical action on climate change – could gain more influence in shaping government policies in the field.
This may force the new Albanian prime minister to make more profound policy changes, particularly with regard to coal – so far, the new governor has rejected calls to block new coal mine licenses or make the country give up the use of this fuel.
In an interview with the BBC shortly after his election victory, Albanese said that Australia “He has a chance to end the country’s climate wars” and promised more ambitious cuts to greenhouse gas emissions.
“Australian businesses know that good action (against) climate change is good for the economy and (creating) jobs, and I want to join the global effort.”
Al-Albani will lead the first workers’ government in Australia In nearly a decade.
On Monday, Albanese will travel to Tokyo (Japan) for the Conference of the Rulers of Japan, India and the United States, a group known by the acronym Quad.
“It will be an opportunity for us to send a message that there is a change in government and policies on issues like climate change,” Albanese said.
The new Prime Minister is well known in Australian politics and served as Deputy Prime Minister for a brief period in 2013.
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