Australia will join global Biden pledge to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030, Albanese confirms

More than $3 billion in funding will support methane reduction, clean technology initiatives and the commercialization of seaweed feed supplements

The Albanian government has confirmed it will join Joe Biden's global pledge to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030, when the prime minister steps up climate change on extreme weather events in Australia.

Guardian Australia revealed in June that Labor was considering taking up the pledge, and climate change minister Chris Bowen confirmed on Sunday that Australia would join more than 100 other countries with a UN-led climate commitment in Egypt. next month.

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Signatories to the global pledge agree to take voluntary action in their countries to reduce methane, which is a potential greenhouse gas. Reducing methane emissions to 30% from 2020 levels is a global goal, not a national target.

Labor has allocated $3 billion of the $15 billion national reconstruction fund to support agricultural methane reduction and other clean technology initiatives. $8 more has been allocated to the seaweed industry to support commercialization of asparagopsis feed supplements, and Labor will direct $5 million in Tuesday's budget to find and commercialize alternatives. Australian social services Amanda Rishworth and finance minister Katy Gallagher for Services, Indigenous and Domestic Violence to receive an additional $560 million in the federal budget. Australia is considering pledging its next meeting at last year's climate summit in Glasgow, as the Morrison government was lobbied by. Biden to make that commitment. But Australia refused at the time because the National Party would not support cutting methane.

With multiple flood events leading to revelations in the eastern state, Alba on Sunday that the current disaster would last for weeks. The prime minister said Tuesday night's budget would provide a source of disaster funding "to address this issue" with better mitigation planning.

He said the link between climate change and extreme weather was clear. "We need to recognize that climate change is having an impact," Albanese said.

"We're seeing more frequent and more intense events taking place."

The United Nations climate assessment says methane has caused about 0.5C of global warming, second only to the 0.8C caused by carbon dioxide. According to Australian government data, agriculture is responsible for 70 million tonnes of CO2 from methane, coal mining is responsible for 28 million tonnes, followed by 18.7 million tonnes from industrial gases and 9.5 million tonnes from waste.

The National Farmers Federation has said it wouldn't increase in the past, but has now backed the decision following commitments and assurances from that voluntary pledge increased to a tax on livestock methane, or mandated a reduction in livestock.

Earlier this month, New Zealand flagged a methane emission levy, with money raised for research to help industry reduce emissions.

NFF chief executive Tony Mahar said on Sunday "the strong guarantees and partnerships provided by the government mean the promise will not have a negative impact on farmers or the agricultural sector".

The Australian gas sector also welcomed the decision. Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association chief executive Samantha McCulloch said the industry was focused on efforts to reduce fugitive emissions from production.

McCulloch noted a number of gas companies were already direct signatories to methane pledges or had "emissions reduction targets consistent with, or exceeding, the pledge". Confirmation of support for the methane pledge comes ahead of the resumption of the federal parliament this week, with the Albanian government's first budget due on Tuesday.

In a pre-budget interview round on Sunday, treasurer Jim Chalmers confirmed Labor would not extend the low- and medium-income tax offset (LMITO), meaning workers earning less than $126,000 won't get tax breaks, worth up to $1,500, beyond 2022.

The treasurer said the government would seek to address some of the current cost of living pressures by focusing on childcare, paid parental leave, pursuing cheaper renewable energy and cheaper medicines.

Chalmers also reiterated that real wages will continue to retreat as inflation is now expected to remain higher for longer. The treasurer said Tuesday night's budget will show an improving trajectory for wages but real growth will not occur until inflation is brought to heel, which could be another two years.

What is methane, how much does Australia emit, and will we sign the pledge?

The Treasury Department said inflation would peak in the December quarter, as expected, at just under 8%, but officials now expect Australia's cost of living pressures to be more protracted, largely due to a spike in electricity bills.

Chalmers said high inflation meant higher indexation for many of the government's profits. This will add $33bn to retirement bills and payments.

Higher inflation and lower unemployment will also increase tax revenue by $100 billion over the first two years of the forecast period ahead, but the treasurer suggested on Sunday, much of the windfall would be saved.

"Our responsibility when we have a lot of inflation is not to spray money in a haphazard or ill-targeted way because that will make our inflation problem worse," Chalmers told the ABC.

"We're going to take a really responsible approach to this revenue increase."

Opposition leader Peter Dutton, who will deliver his first budget answer on Thursday, told Sky News that families are seeking help to cope with cost-of-living pressures, and the government is doing little to ease the pain.

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