Australia

Minister rejects Paris accord designer's concerns Australia will miss climate targets

0:00

Liberal minister Zed Seselja insists Australia will meet its Paris climate change targets, rejecting concern from an architect of the international agreement.

Experts warn Australia is going to miss its anti-pollution targets but a federal Liberal frontbencher insists the Paris emissions targets will be met.

Paris agreement designer Laurence Tubiana says the federal government's claim Australia will meet the targets goes against international scientific opinion, Fairfax Media reports on Thursday.

Ms Tubiana, who is now chief executive of the European Climate Foundation, is urging Australia not to fall behind other countries who have committed to emissions reduction targets.

"The Australian government, along with all others, needs to listen to the science and the economics, and lead the country towards decarbonisation," she told Fairfax Media.

"Failure to do so will have profound consequences on the country's standing in the international community and its future prospects in terms of innovation and economic opportunity."

Australia agreed in Paris to reduce emissions by 26 per cent by 2030, based on 2005 levels.

Liberal frontbencher Zed Seselja says Australia had met its obligations in the Kyoto agreements and would deliver on Paris.

But a recent report shows the nation's greenhouse gas emissions have climbed 1.3 per cent to their highest quarterly levels in eight years.

Mr Seselja instead pointed to per capita emissions.

"At the moment we have the lowest per capita emissions in 28 years, we are doing our bit," he told Sky News.

"We're investing in renewable energy, of course, we are getting more efficient in the way we deal with energy."
The federal government sat on the emissions data for two months before releasing it late last Friday, according to the ABC.

The report had been sent to former Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg and then assistant environment minister Melissa Price on August 9.

2015 file photo shows French foreign minister and President of the COP21 Laurent Fabius, center, hugging France's Laurence Tubiana
2015 file photo shows French foreign minister and President of the COP21 Laurent Fabius, center, hugging France's Laurence Tubiana
AAP

A spokesperson for Ms Price told the ABC "ministers routinely and appropriately consider briefs for a period of time".

Labor's policy of a 45 per cent renewable energy target would hit electricity prices, Mr Seselja says.

"We believe we've got the balance absolutely right."

The government has said the Renewable Energy Target will not be replaced or renewed when it lapses in 2020.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch