Australia will bid to host UN climate meet

Australia will bid to host an upcoming United Nations conference on climate change, marketing itself as a renewable energy powerhouse.

Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen described the annual summit as the world's biggest trade fair.

Australia wants to secure hosting rights for 2026.

"This is an opportunity - will be an opportunity, if we win the bid - to show Australia's capacity to help the world as a renewable energy powerhouse," he told reporters in Sydney on Saturday.

"We will seek to co-host the bid with the Pacific to help elevate the case of the Pacific for more climate action."

Mr Bowen said Australia considered bidding for COP29 in 2024 but decided against it, citing the time frame and global tensions.

The 2024 talks are earmarked for an eastern European nation, with the 2026 hosting rights reserved for western Europe and other countries.

"It's the right year for us," Mr Bowen said.

"I'm looking forward to talking to international colleagues about Australia's bid, about what we can bring to the table as a host of the world's biggest trade fair, as a host of COP in 2026."

Egypt is hosting this year's event, which begins on Sunday.

Mr Bowen will lead the Australian delegation alongside assistant minister Jenny McAllister and Pacific and International Development Minister Pat Conroy.

"It's an important opportunity to talk about what Australia brings to the table," Mr Bowen said.

"It's an important opportunity to help the rest of the world to take the next step forward."

Environment groups said Australia's bid to host the COP31 talks would help revive the country's international standing.

Dermot O'Gorman from the World Wide Fund for Nature urged Australians to get behind the bid.

"This is an Olympic moment - a huge opportunity to host a nation-building global event," he said.

"Winning this bid won't be easy, but if we're successful it will help catalyse climate action in Australia and revive our global reputation.

"The world will be better off if Australia steps up its ambition for greater climate action."