Australia has signed on to a pledge at the COP28 climate summit to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030, Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen says.
At the annual United Nations meeting on Sunday in the United Arab Emirates, the governments of 118 countries announced they would aim to double energy efficiency and triple renewable energy capacity within six years, mirroring a pledge made in September by members of the G20.
"We know that renewables are the cleanest and cheapest form of energy - and that energy efficiency can also help drive down bills and emissions," Mr Bowen said in a statement.
He noted that other major energy exporting countries - including the United States, Canada and Norway - had also committed to the plan promoted by the summit host.
Delegates from China and India did not back the pledge, which pairs the ramp-up in renewable power with a reduction in fossil fuel use.
"Australia has the highest penetration of rooftop solar in the world and has a plan to get to 82 per cent renewables by 2030 to deliver cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy," Mr Bowen said.
For emissions to go down around the world, a big international push was needed.
"Australia has the resources and the smarts to help supply the world with clean energy technologies to drive down those emissions while spurring new Australian industry," Mr Bowen said.
Climate Energy Finance, an independent Australian think tank, said the commitment by the 118 countries - particularly Australia, US, EU, Canada and Japan - was "excellent".
"Two years ago this would have been seen as next to impossible," director Tim Buckley said in a statement.
"But with China having transformed the world's (manufacturing) capability to deliver on decarbonisation, this goal will collectively bend the climate trajectory towards what the science clearly dictates."
Mr Buckley called on Australia "to kick the fossil fuel habit" and leverage its "world-leading abundance of sun and wind".
"Australia is still a global top three petrostate and exporter of carbon emissions," he added.
Greenpeace Australia said the commitment by the 118 countries was critical if the world was to have a chance of limiting global temperature rises to within 1.5C.
"This follows on from last week's important commitment by the Albanese government to fast track the federally supported expansion of domestic renewable energy capacity to 32GW," head of Pacific Shiva Gouden said in a statement.
The domestic National Electricity Market currently has an installed capacity of 64GW.
Mr Bowen and Assistant Minister Jenny McAllister will arrive in Dubai for the summit this week.
with AP and Reuters
Australian Associated Press