Scott Morrison may snub the COP26 climate talks as Australia becomes more isolated
(CNN)Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Monday he might not show up at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow this November, as his government becomes increasingly isolated in international efforts on the crisis.
More than 100 world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, have confirmed their attendance at the talks hosted by the United Kingdom, a close ally of Australia. Leaders of the G20, which includes Australia, will be convening in Rome a day ahead of the climate talks. While it is not yet confirmed if Morrison will be at that summit, many G20 leaders are likely to take the short flight from the Italian capital to COP26 in Scotland.
"We haven't made any final decisions about (attending COP26). I mean it is another trip overseas and I've been on several this year and spent a lot of time in quarantine," Morrison told the West Australian newspaper.
Morrison said he needed to focus on the country's reopening after an extended lockdown. His government is aiming to relax its hardline border restrictions in December.
"Australia will be opening up around that time, there will be a lot of issues to manage and I have to manage those competing demands," he said.
The Prime Minister made his comments as Australia comes under pressure from allies, including the United States, to announce more ambitious pledges on the climate crisis. The country is the world's second-biggest exporter of coal and the Morrison government has said it will continue to mine, export and use the fossil fuel well beyond 2030.
Leaders including COP26 President Alok Sharma and UN Secretary-General António Guterres have called on the developed world to end the use of coal by the end of this decade.
Morrison's office did not immediately respond to CNN's questions on the Prime Minister's plans for COP26.
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