Australian prime minister abandons climate change targets

Australian prime minister abandons climate change targets
© Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ditched plans for the country to reach emissions targets aimed at combatting climate change.

Turnbull made the announcement Monday, telling reporters that the National Energy Guarantee, a policy bill outlining the targets, would not be introduced in the House of Representatives, citing a lack of support, according to The New York Times.

"We are not going to propose legislation purely for the purpose of it being defeated," he said.

But the bill had support from lawmakers outside Turnbull’s center-right Liberal Party, and it appears likely that the leader is caving to pressure from conservative members of his own party, according to the Times.


The proposal outlined plans to cut energy emission levels by 26 percent of what they were in 2005 over the next 12 years, and also includes efforts to stabilize the country’s energy markets, the newspaper noted.

The plan, which Turnbull has flipped on multiple times in recent days, effectively legislates what the country agreed to as part of the Paris Climate Accord. Climate groups worried that the National Energy Guarantee would not do enough to combat climate change.

Australia remains committed to the Paris agreement, which President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE withdrew the U.S. from early in his presidency.

Political analysts told the Times that Turnbull’s decision to abandon the climate change plans indicate that he is choosing his own job stability over addressing climate change. Turnbull has been accused of weak leadership, and his party is increasingly fearing that it will lose the next election to the left-wing Labor Party.