Scott Morrison, Joe Biden discuss emissions, China, Australia visit in phone call


“And that is true. We share that view. In terms of our relations between Australia and the United States, there’s nothing to fix here, only things to build on.

“We do our share of the heavy lifting in this relationship and that is absolutely respected by the President and appreciated.”

Mr Biden’s rise to power is poised to add momentum towards a pact from the world’s leading economies to aim for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Mr Morrison signalled this week his hope to set the target as government policy before the next election.

He said on Thursday the pair canvassed the issue, reaffirming that both countries wanted to achieve a net-zero pathway through technology.

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Mr Morrison said co-operation between countries was needed to achieve that and this had already begun from discussions between the US special climate envoy John Kerry and federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor.

“We’re very keen on pursuing that relationship and the technology partnership,” he said.

“Our goal is global emissions, not just emissions in some country. Global emissions reduction. And that is how you solve the problem.”

Mr Biden and Mr Morrison also discussed how they could work together to address global and regional challenges, including China’s increasing assertiveness.

According to a US readout of the speech, the two leaders “agreed to work together, alongside other allies and partners, to hold to account those responsible for the coup in Burma”. Burma is the former name of Myanmar.

Myanmar’s military declared a year-long state of emergency this week after it detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup that threatens to end a fraught 10-year journey to democracy.

Mr Morrison reminded Mr Biden of a standing invitation to visit Australia for the 70th anniversary of the ANZUS alliance in September.

The Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty, known as ANZUS, is a 1951 collective security non-binding agreement between Australia and New Zealand and, separately, Australia and the US, to co-operate on military matters in the Pacific Ocean region.

“He told me he needs no special reason to come to Australia, he loves the place,” Mr Morrison said. “They would very much like to be in Australia at some point, and we’ll see how that progresses.”

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