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Australian PM Scraps Plan to Legalize Carbon Emissions Cuts


FILE - Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a press conference in Berlin, Germany, April 23, 2018.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has abandoned plans to enshrine the nation's targeted limits of greenhouse gas emissions into law in the face of an angry revolt by his party's staunch conservatives.

Australia set a target to cut carbon emissions by 26 percent below 2005 by the year 2030, as part of the 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, commonly known as the Paris Agreement.

Turnbull sought to include the targets in the government's National Energy Guarantee, but he conceded Monday that he could not get the legislation through the House of Representatives, where his Liberal Party holds a fragile one-seat majority. The conservative opposition, led by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, argue that the government should be focused on cutting soaring electricity prices.

The internal revolt has led to speculation that Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton will challenge Turnbull for leadership of the Liberal Party, which both men have denied. It also comes amid a new voter survey showing the government trailing the opposition Labor Party 55 percent to 45 percent. The next national elections are scheduled to be held next May.

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