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Albanese, Biden ink deal on 'third pillar' of Australia-US alliance



Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has met with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Japan as the two leaders signed a new climate and clean energy agreement.

Speaking before pen was put to paper on the statement of intent to advance the two nations' climate cooperation, Biden said the agreement signified an expansion of the alliance between Australia and the United States.

"This statement of intent is a testament to our close, bilateral cooperation. I mean that – close," Biden said.

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"We're going to establish climate and clean energy as the third pillar of the Australia-US Alliance.

"This contract can enable the expansion and diversification of clean energy supply chains, especially as it relates to critical materials."

Albanese said climate was a crucial aspect of defence cooperation in the Pacific.

"Many of our neighbours understand that climate change is an existential threat," he said.

"And what we understand is that it's an important component of our national security, and that's why it is an important component, an essential part of our alliance."

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US President Joe Biden, right, and Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, Saturday, May 20, 2023.

A joint statement from the two leaders said the accord signed the day strengthened Australia and the USA's alliance in response to "evolving challenges".

"We are taking urgent action to elevate global climate ambition, accelerate the global clean energy transition, and support mitigation, adaptation and resilience efforts in the Indo-Pacific and beyond," the statement said.

"The compact affirms the position of climate and clean energy as the third pillar of the alliance, alongside our defence and economic cooperation."

The bilateral meeting in Hiroshima comes as Biden and Albanese prepare for a makeshift Quad leaders summit in Japan, following the US president's withdrawal from next week's now-cancelled conference in Sydney.

"The Quad leaders' summit in Hiroshima will demonstrate the Quad's enduring contribution to the development, stability, and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific through its positive, practical agenda," the joint statement from Albanese and Biden said.

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