Australia’s prime minister faces tough cabinet meeting as popularity wanes

Australia’s prime minister faces tough cabinet meeting as popularity wanes

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will today meet with his cabinet to discuss in part the energy renewable proposal and

malcolm turnbull cabinet neg

Photo: AAP

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will today meet with his cabinet to discuss in part the energy renewable proposal and the National Energy Guarantee.

The National Energy Guarantee obligates energy retailers to reduce emissions by a quarter over the next decade, while also ensuring consumers are supplied with sufficient reliable power. The centre-left Labour party, along with the leftist Greens, want a 45% emissions target, making a signing of the energy policy this week unlikely.

This is another setback for Turnbull, who is already facing pressure to defend his leadership following his party’s recent defeat in five by-elections. Another poll released on Sunday again shows Labour maintains its almost two-year preference lead over the Liberals. With an Australian election expected early next year, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott may use the energy issue as a trigger to challenge Turnbull’s leadership.

Expect further negotiations on the National Energy Guarantee, possibly even including Turnbull making a target concession. If the issue is postponed for several months, Turnbull’s leadership position may become insecure.

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