Australia signs ‘transformation compact’ with United States on climate and clean energy

A key meeting between three world leaders and Australia’s prime minister will be held on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Japan.

Anthony Albanese touched down in Japan on Friday as a guest for the three-day talks in Hiroshima between some of the world’s most powerful countries.

The annual gathering began by issuing sweeping new sanctions against Russia over the illegal invasion of Ukraine and is widely expected to focus on nuclear non-proliferation, economic woes, and the impacts of climate change, across eight working sessions.

Alongside G7 nations, Australia announced new sanctions against Russian entities and a machinery export ban.

“The G7 is a critical body of the seven of the world’s largest democracies coming together at a time in which we have global instability,” Mr Albanese said on arrival.

Mr Albanese met with president Joe Biden on Saturday, where the pair signed a new agreement to further collaboration between the two countries on climate and clean energy.

“Today what we’ve done is add a new element to that alliance, upfront, very clearly, unequivocally, climate action,” Mr Albanese said.

“Australia is back around the table, and what we know is that action on climate change … is the entry-fee to credibility in the Indo-Pacific. Many of our neighbours understand that climate change is an existential threat.”

President Biden lauded the agreement a “huge step forward” in the fight against the climate crisis.

“We’re going to establish climate and clean energy as the third pillar of the Australia-US Alliance,” he said.

“This contract can enable the expansion and diversification of clean energy supply chains, especially as it relates to critical materials.”

In a joint statement, the two leaders said the agreement would drive both countries’ economies to accelerate the global uptake of clean energy, and address the growing energy demands of the Indo-Pacific.

On the sidelines of the event, leaders from Australia, the United States, Japan and India, plan to meet on Saturday after the Quad summit was cancelled.

The meeting was set to be held in Sydney next week, but was called off after president Joe Biden cancelled his trip due to domestic issues surrounding the debt crisis.

The four leaders will discuss co-operation on secure digital technology, submarine cables, infrastructure capacity building, and maritime domain awareness, the White House confirmed.

“After President Biden had to postpone his trip to Australia, the Quad leaders agreed that they would hold their summit in Hiroshima to ensure that the four leaders could come together to mark the Quad’s progress over the past year,” it said.

Shortly before G7 leaders gathered for a ceremonial welcome, Mr Albanese met with Antonio Guterres, the United Nations’ Secretary General, on Saturday afternoon.

The two men discussed Australia’s commitment to the international order, humanitarian concerns in Sudan and Ukraine, and efforts to tackle climate change.

They spoke about the role of the UN, as well as the importance of supporting small island nations with finance, climate change resilience and adaptation.

On Saturday evening, Mr Albanese is expected to address leaders on climate action before meeting Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, to continue discussions on a free trade arrangement between the two markets.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is scheduled to attend the G7 on Sunday to give an in-person briefing on the state of his country’s resistance against Russia’s invasion.

Read related topics:Joe Biden

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