PM optimistic of further climate action

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says he is optimistic UN climate talks and a series of summits in Asia can make progress on cutting emissions.

Mr Albanese is not attending the COP27 summit in Egypt, but will be at the ASEAN, G20 and APEC summits in the coming week.

Asked in parliament by independent MP Zali Steggall on Thursday whether he would back an end to approving fossil fuel projects, Mr Albanese said he would be discussing climate policy at the forthcoming series of summits.

Mr Albanese said Australia had been "welcomed back" by global leaders after his government had legislated a new target of cutting emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 on the path to net-zero emissions by 2050.

"This government understands that we need to deal with energy policy, transport policy, housing policy, we need to change the make up of our transport network ... and we need to move to the cheapest and cleanest form of new energy which is renewables," he said.

"We need to do that in partnership with the rest of the world, and I look forward to in the coming days meeting with global leaders.

"I am optimistic that the world can move. I want Australia to be a part of that and my government's commitment is to do just that."

The prime minister's comments came as a new survey showed nine out of 10 Australians think big polluters should pay for the impacts of climate change.

Caritas Australia research found the overwhelming majority want to see those causing the damage to pay for it, as climate finance debate rolls on at the COP27 conference.

A "loss and damage fund" that would see rich nations help poorer ones to mitigate climate change-fuelled damage is on the agenda, with Australia engaging with the talks.

Cartias also found climate change is easily the biggest global threat in the eyes of Australians, outranking global conflict, despite the war in Ukraine.

Australians also feel it's important the nation is a good neighbour to other countries in the Pacific, with 91 per cent of respondents backing that statement.

Pacific nations are contributing only half a per cent of global emissions but face the most hectic consequences and are struggling to pay for them, Caritas' advocacy associate director Damian Spruce said.

"Our partners in the Pacific are telling us that they are surrounded by water, but there is not enough to drink. They have contaminated ground water from rising sea levels and they are forced to shore up their seawalls with old tyres," he said.

"The Pacific region is calling on big wealthy polluters to finally pick up the bill for their climate debts."

Meanwhile, Australian businesses are backing the nation's bid to host COP31 in 2026.

Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen, who will attend COP27 next week, has said the country will bid to co-host the summit in partnership with Pacific nations.

Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said COP31 will be an opportunity for Australian businesses leading on climate action "to showcase their innovation, ingenuity, and investment".