Australia’s newly elected prime minister, Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese, has vowed to take the country in a new direction, with a big shift in climate policy, the BBC reports.

Fifty-nine-year-old Albanese, who won Saturday’s election with the opposition centre-left Labor Party to become the first leader of a Labor administration in almost a decade, suggested that Australia could become a renewable energy superpower.

He is to be sworn in as prime minister today, but it is not clear whether his party will have a majority in parliament.

With counting still under way yesterday, it was unclear whether Labor could get the 76 seats it needed to secure a majority in the 151-member lower house of parliament. Final results may not be known for several days, as electoral officials have just started counting nearly three million postal votes.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, leader of the ousted Liberal-National coalition, conceded on Saturday.

According to the BBC, climate change was a key concern for voters, after three years of record-breaking bushfire and flood events.

Albanese said in an interview with the BBC: ‘We have an opportunity now to end the climate wars in Australia.

‘Australian business know that good action on climate change is good for jobs and good for our economy, and I want to join the global effort.’

BBC Australia editor Jay Savage writes of the election outcome: ‘Anthony Albanese has vowed to “end the climate wars” that have poisoned Australia’s will for emissions cuts in the past decade. He now has a mandate. The rejection of Scott Morrison’s government in the big cities was seismic. It’s a clear repudiation of policies that have made Australia a climate laggard among rich nations.’

[Image: Bruce Baker,]