Climate policy must be responsible: Wong

Climate policy must be responsible: Wong

Federal Climate Change Minister Penny Wong says economic responsibility must be considered in responding to Professor Ross Garnaut's call for Australia to push for a global climate deal, which would involve cutting greenhouse emissions by 25 per cent by 2020.

Prof Garnaut on Tuesday released his long-awaited 620-page final report on what the nation should do about climate change.

After infuriating green groups earlier this month by recommending a 10 per cent greenhouse target by 2020, he is now more open to a 25 per cent emissions cut and a possible 90 per cent cut by 2050 with international agreement.

Senator Wong said while Prof Garnaut's advice would be considered carefully, the government also had economic responsibilities.

"We'll also consider very carefully the economic modelling that the Treasury is undertaking that will be released next month, in October," Senator Wong told reporters in Brisbane.


"Those various aspects will be taken into account when the government makes its decision on what the trajectory will be."

Senator Wong said the government's timetable was to indicate a mid-term target range for reduction and emissions by the end of the year.

"We on this government recognise absolutely the scale and significance of the global financial crisis," she said.

"We are very conscious of the need to progress our response to climate change in an economically responsible way. We will take a balanced approach."

Prof Garnaut said if the world could not agree on Australia's goals, the country should aim to cut emissions by 2020 to 10 per cent or an absolute minimum of five per cent.

Senator Wong agreed with Prof Garnaut's assessment that it would be difficult to get nations to collectively agree to such aims.

"These climate change negotiations are tough negotiations," she said.

"There are differences of views amongst the community of nations about the way to proceed.

"Different nations have different views on the best way forward.

"(But) climate change is inherently a global problem. We have to do our bit to be part of the global solution."

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