Ditching Climate Outcast Tag May Test a New Australia Government

(Bloomberg) -- Australia’s main opposition Labor party will face a challenge to restore the country’s tarnished reputation on climate action if it wins power this weekend.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who narrowly trails in polls before Saturday’s vote, has faced criticism — including from the White House — for a lack of action on planetary warming and a net-zero plan that’s heavily reliant on unproven technology.

While Labor leader Anthony Albanese has vowed to make climate diplomacy a focus, his modest tightening of targets and continued support of coal threaten to extend the nation’s outlier status.

“Their climate action wouldn't be considered enough,” said Kate Dooley, a lecturer at the University of Melbourne and previously a climate analyst and consultant who’s tracked United Nations negotiations since 2009. “But it would feel like there's a government now in place who will consider increasing their ambition.”

How Climate Is Splintering Australia’s Politics: David Fickling