Labor pledges climate cooperation with US

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Australia will prioritise climate change cooperation with the US to help ensure the security of the Indo-Pacific if Labor wins the federal election.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese wants Australia to stop being a "pariah nation" and work with the US on cleaner technology including ensuring it is shared with developing nations.

"We need to join with our ally in the United States to work with like-minded countries in the Indo-Pacific region on national security issues which they see very much as being related to climate policy," he told Sky News on Monday.

"It's an important part of our national security interests, not just for our own national security but throughout the region as well."

Mr Albanese labels committing to a target of net zero emissions by 2050 the first step, but emphasises much more can be done.

Labor's foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong warns a failing to do so "seriously directly undermines our leadership role in the Indo-Pacific".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to head to the Washington next week to meet with US, Indian and Japanese leaders in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.

Ahead of the talks, his deputy Barnaby Joyce denies putting a $5 billion price tag on the Nationals' support for net zero.

He remains tight-lipped about climate negotiations critical to get the junior coalition partner over the line for stronger emissions reductions.

Australia is under immense global pressure to sign up to net zero by 2050 before November's United Nations climate conference in Glasgow.

Many developed nations have already announced more ambitious targets, while key allies continue to urge Australia to do more.

But climate tensions remain within the coalition after Mr Joyce returned to the leadership on a platform of opposing a net zero target.

Mr Joyce said securing the green light to extend the inland rail from Toowoomba to Gladstone, which could cost up to $5 billion, was not a condition.

He believes being able to show regional voters climate action will not affect jobs is more important than "some price tag for some piece of infrastructure".

But he did note the potential for emissions to be reduced through the project, which could carry the same amount of freight as 110 B-double trucks via the rail system.

Mr Joyce also said scientists were providing views to the prime minister and the junior coalition partner about what new climate targets would mean for jobs.

"Those views will then be taken back to members of the National Party room and they can have their deliberations over it," he told ABC radio on Monday.

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