The ex-deputy PM tells Guardian Australia the next phase of climate policy must not ‘smash our regional economies’

The former federal Nationals leader Michael McCormack says his party has to consider signing up to a commitment to net zero emissions because a flat “no” could threaten Australia’s trade relationships and export income.

McCormack’s public overture ahead of Cop26 in Glasgow comes as the New South Wales minister for energy and the environment, Matt Kean, will also tell an event organised by the British high commission on Wednesday that Scott Morrison has pulled off a “stunning coup” in negotiating a nuclear submarine deal with the US and the UK, but now needs to take the next step.

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