Labor leader Anthony Albanese readies to release election climate policy, emissions reduction target

Speculation is mounting that Labor leader Anthony Albanese will announce the party's new climate targets after a meeting on Friday. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong
Speculation is mounting that Labor leader Anthony Albanese will announce the party's new climate targets after a meeting on Friday. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Labor is poised to unveil its long-awaited new climate target as it prepares to step up its campaigning ahead of the federal election.

Speculation is mounting Anthony Albanese will announce the 2030 emissions reduction target he will take to next year's poll after a special meeting of the Labor caucus in Canberra on Friday.

The office of opposition climate and energy spokesman Chris Bowen did not respond to a request to confirm or deny a looming announcement.

But Labor sources who spoke to The Canberra Times expect a new climate goal will be presented at the meeting, which is set to double as a rev up for MPs ahead of the party's first major election campaign rally on Sunday.

It is widely expected Labor's new target will be more ambitious than the Coalition's Tony Abbott-era policy of cutting emissions by 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels. But it remains to be seen if it is prepared to match the 45 per cent goal which Bill Shorten took to last election.

Mr Bowen is scheduled to make a speech about Labor's climate policies at the National Press Club on Monday.

The selection of a new target has been a tightly guarded process within even senior Labor ranks.

At least some members of shadow cabinet had not been briefed on it as of Thursday afternoon.

There are concerns details of the politically contentious policy will be leaked to the media once it is presented to the full frontbench.

Mr Albanese and his ministers have for weeks fended off questions about Labor's possible 2030 target, as they focused on attacking the Morrison government's climate policies and its performance at the Glasgow climate summit.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison resisted pressure to raise the Coalition's 2030 target at COP26, choosing instead to announce a new prediction that Australia's emissions would fall 35 per cent by the end of the decade.

Mr Albanese has previously described the short-term target Mr Shorten took to the failed 2019 poll as a mistake.

But the political landscape has shifted since then, as evidenced by a major shift from the Business Council of Australia.

Having labelled Mr Shorten's target as "economy wrecking" in 2019, the peak business group is now calling for emissions to be cut by up to 50 per cent on 2005 levels.

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This story Labor climate target announcement looms ahead of election first appeared on The Canberra Times.