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Image source, Getty ImagesImage caption, Scott Morrison had said he may skip the world's biggest climate conference since 2015

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said he will attend the COP26 UN climate conference next month.

Global leaders will meet in Glasgow in the UK to try and broker a new international deal to stall rising global temperatures.

Mr Morrison drew criticism globally when he threatened to boycott the meeting last month.

Australia's government is under pressure to take stronger action to reduce carbon emissions.

"I confirmed my attendance at the Glasgow summit, which I'm looking forward to attending. It is an important event," Mr Morrison told reporters on Friday.

Climate activists had slated Mr Morrison for not committing to attend, and it was being seen as a diplomatic snub to the UK, a close ally of Australia.

In an interview to the BBC, Prince Charles expressed surprise at Mr Morrison's suggestion, urging leaders to act urgently to combat climate change.

COP26 will be held between 31 October and 15 November in Scotland's largest city.

It will be the biggest climate change conference since landmark talks in Paris in 2015.

The COP26 global climate summit in Glasgow in November is seen as crucial if climate change is to be brought under control. Almost 200 countries are being asked for their plans to cut emissions, and it could lead to major changes to our everyday lives.

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Mr Morrison had cited the challenges of Covid as a reason he might not to attend, saying he had already served a great deal of quarantine.

But Australia is beginning to make plans to end quarantine requirements.

Many countries have set ambitious targets to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, but Australia has refused to do so.

It has committed to a 26% cut on its 2005 emissions by 2030 – a target frequently criticised as too weak.

Australia is one of the largest emitters on a per capita basis.

Media caption, Prince Charles was among those who urged Scott Morrison to attend COP26

"The government will be finalising its position to take to the summit. We're working through those issues," Morrison said on Friday.

Many rural parts of Australia are dependent on coal, gas and farming.

Coal is Australia's second-most lucrative export and it expects demand to continue for at least the next decade.

"The plan that I am taking forward together with my colleagues is about ensuring that our regions are strong, that our regions jobs are not only protected but have opportunities for the future," Mr Morrison said.