Albanese signs Australia up to Europe's Climate Club as energy prices soar back home

Australia joins the Climate Club, aimed at reducing emissions and pressuring nations to implement carbon pricing.

Albanese signs Australia up to Europe's Climate Club as energy prices soar back home
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As power prices skyrocket back home, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese as in Germany this week signing Australia up to Europe’s so-called Climate Club.

While the announcement was met with quiet applause from environmentalists, most Australians had little idea what it meant.

The Climate Club aims to lower emissions by pressuring governments to put a minimum price on carbon.

The club insists that countries with a carbon price should put taxes on imports from countries that refuse to price carbon until the recalcitrant nations finally conform.

The club, launched in 2021, is the brainchild of German Chancellor Olav Scholz, whose government comprises parties from the centre-right to the Greens on the left.

Scholz has already enlisted all of the members of the G7 group of rich nations, such as the US, Japan and the UK, to back the Climate Club.

Other members include Argentina, Chile, the EU, Indonesia, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Critics of the Climate Club complain that it’s ultimate purpose, beyond agreeing that climate laggards should be penalised, is still unclear and that Australia’s participation is therefore premature.

But with Europe set to phase in a "carbon border adjustment mechanism", which will tax carbon-intensive imports of products from cement to steel, it is likely Albanese sees value in Australia being part of the decision-making process.

"My government has set the ambition for Australia to be a renewable energy superpower," Albanese said in Berlin.

"But we also want to be a renewable energy export superpower, working with countries like Germany on the industries of the future."

The government has not announced any changes to its climate policies because of its membership in the Climate Club, but since coming to power in May Albanese has strengthened many of the country’s climate policies to align with Europe.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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