PM and Biden discuss climate and democracy

Daniel McCulloch
·2-min read

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has spoken to Joe Biden for the first time since the Democrat won the United States presidential election.

Mr Morrison became the latest in a cavalcade of world leaders to congratulate the president-elect from Canberra on Thursday.

He used the phone call to reiterate his invitation for Mr Biden and his wife to visit Australia next year for the 70th anniversary of the ANZUS security treaty.

Mr Morrison said the pair discussed environmental challenges, including technologies to reduce carbon emissions, but net zero targets for 2050 were not raised.

An official readout from Mr Biden's office said he looked forward to working with the prime minister on confronting climate change and strengthening democracy.

Mr Morrison said he was not concerned about the transition of power in Washington.

He said Donald Trump's refusal to concede was not a matter for him as the Australian head of government.

"That is a matter for the president," Mr Morrison told reporters.

The prime minister said he and Mr Biden spoke about multilateral engagement around the world and the "indispensable and important" role of the United States.

"He and I will be the next pairing of stewards of this important relationship of this alliance," Mr Morrison said.

"We understand the responsibility of that extends well beyond our terms and our specific domestic responsibilities."

Mr Morrison also confirmed British leader Boris Johnson had invited him to take part in the G7 summit next year.

The president-elect is due to be inaugurated on January 20, but Mr Trump is still refusing to concede defeat, peddling baseless claims of voter fraud.

Mr Biden spoke to the leaders of Canada, Britain, Germany, France and Ireland earlier this week.

He also spoke to the Japanese and South Korean leaders on Thursday.