Morrison isolated on climate at G7: Labor

Penny Wong says the prime minister's refusal to sign up to net zero emissions has left him isolated.
Penny Wong says the prime minister's refusal to sign up to net zero emissions has left him isolated.

Senior Labor frontbencher Penny Wong is disappointed the prime minister failed to secure a one-on-one meeting with US President Joe Biden, saying his refusal to embrace net zero emissions by 2050 has left him isolated.

Scott Morrison did get a meeting with Mr Biden on the sidelines of the G7 leaders meeting in the UK on Saturday but was unexpectedly joined by host, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Senator Wong said this was a disappointing result.

"Mr Morrison's stubborn refusal to sign up to net zero emissions has left him isolated and left Australia isolated," Labor's foreign affairs spokeswoman told reporters in Adelaide on Sunday.

"I suggest Mr Morrison reflect on whether or not his stubborn refusal to sign up to net zero emissions along with so much of the rest of the world, is really delivering for Australia and for Australians."

The prime minister is in Cornwall as a guest of leaders from some of the world's richest countries and will have separate talks with Mr Johnson early this week in London.

The UK is also host to a global climate change conference later this year in Glasgow.

Greens leader Adam Bandt believes the only reason why Mr Morrison was invited to the G7 meeting is so they can give him a dressing down over Australia's inaction on climate change.

"Climate is a critical issue at this G7. It is the only game in town," Mr Bandt told ABC's Insiders program on Sunday.

"When they sit down to discuss climate, Scott Morrison will be sitting at the kids' table and I think part of the reason he's been invited to this summit is so the rest of the world can give Australia a dressing down on climate."

He believes the European Union will hit Australia with carbon tariffs if it doesn't pull its weight in reducing emissions and is something the US and UK could also get on board with.

He agrees with such action if it is part of the move against countries that aren't taking significant climate action and putting a price on pollution and making their polluters pay.

Trade Minister Dan Tehan said for Australia the great concern is these carbon border adjustment mechanisms can be used as protectionist measures.

He said Australia has put forward an alterative that would see a reduction on all tariffs when it comes to environmental goods and the freeing up of the movement environmental services.

"So that means all countries can get access to the technology they need to reduce emissions and the know how and expertise to be able to use that technology," Mr Tehan told Sky News' Sunday Agenda program.

"We think that is a much more pro-trade approach."

Australian Associated Press