Climate plan won't 'cost' economy: Shorten

Bill Shorten (L) says climate change action will help the economy grow in the next decade. (AAP)

Bill Shorten has stressed Australia's economy will grow at the same rate in the next decade under Labor's climate change plans as it would under the coalition.

Taking action on climate change in the way Labor has proposed won't force a "cost" upon the economy, instead helping it to grow in the next decade, according to Bill Shorten.

The Labor leader expressed the sentiment when asked what costs his party's climate and energy policies would impose if his team forms government after the May federal election.

The opposition has vowed to introduce a target to reduce carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.

The coalition has an emissions reduction target of 26 per cent.

Mr Shorten maintains that under both targets, modelling shows Australia's economy would continue to grow, racking up growth of 23 per cent throughout the 2020s.

He argues that means the policies aren't a "cost".

"Our economy is going to grow, I don't accept the characterisation that it's a cost," he told reporters in Perth on Wednesday.

"We are going to grow because we are going to move to a lower carbon pollution economy and there's other aspects which means that we will grow, but the modelling has been done."

Mr Shorten earlier stressed it would be expensive not to address the changing climate, given natural disasters cost Australia $18 billion each year.

"There is a cost of not taking action," he told ABC Radio Perth.

Not having a clear energy plan has also driven up power prices across Australia and prevented investment in power generation, he said.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch