Malcolm Turnbull

Turnbull gets climate change: Lecourtier

The French ambassador says the leadership change to Malcolm Turnbull means everybody knows Australia is now supportive of the fight against climate change.

French ambassador Christophe Lecourtier believes his country has a friend in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the global fight against global warming.

Everyone now knows Australia is "fully supportive" of the fight against climate change, Mr Lecourtier said on Tuesday.

France has pledged an ambitious 40 per cent emissions reduction goal by 2030 and committed to increasing its carbon price.

But Australia, under the leadership of Tony Abbott, was criticised for a lack of ambition with its post-2020 targets, scrapping Labor's carbon tax and attacking renewable energy growth.

France is gearing up to host the United Nations climate change conference starting in November, with world leaders preparing to explain their pledged post-2020 emissions reduction targets.

It is not yet clear if Mr Turnbull will attend, but it was assumed Mr Abbott would not have made the trip.

Mr Lecourtier would not comment on whether Mr Turnbull - who has long been a supporter of pricing carbon to curb emissions - should head to Paris.

However, the prime minister was aware of what was happening to the planet and the goals of the Paris conference, which meant the leadership change in itself was a positive sign.

"Everybody already knows that now Australia is fully supportive of the fight against climate change," the ambassador told the National Press Club.

Mr Turnbull's personality was part of "the planets becoming more and more aligned" leading up to the mammoth meetings, he said.

Australia has pledged a 2030 emissions reduction target of 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels, which lags behind those of some other developed nations.

Mr Lecourtier had several conversations with Mr Abbott about climate policy and was confident Australia "at the end of the day" would join the club to combat global warming.

"Now we are even more confident," he said.

The international community is hoping to sign an agreement in Paris with the aim of limiting global warming to two degrees over the century.

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