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Climate deal must pass, expert tells govt

AAP logoAAP 2/11/2016

Australia risks being excluded from the first meeting of countries signed up to a landmark deal on climate change because parliament is yet to ratify the agreement, an international agency warns.

The annual United Nations climate change conference starts in Marrakech on Monday and will also serve as the first official meeting of parties to the Paris agreement struck in 2015.

That deal comes into effect on Friday after 55 per cent of the world's emitters ratified it but Australia isn't among them, with the government blaming the timing of the federal election for the delay.

It hopes to have parliament ratify the deal by year's end.

Oxfam Australia's climate change adviser says the failure to ratify is a disappointment that risks Australia being excluded from the international meeting.

Simon Bradshaw said there was also a bigger issue around the "yawning gap" between Australia's commitments and the demands on climate action under the Paris agreement.

The deal signed by global leaders agrees to limit global warming to two degrees and commit countries to updating emissions reduction targets every five years.

"Australia's continued recalcitrance risks not only greater harm to vulnerable communities, but also threatens our own economic prosperity in a world shifting ever more rapidly away from fossil fuels," Dr Bradshaw said on Thursday.

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