Senate Inquiry doubts Abbott can deliver emissions reduction

A SENATE inquiry has questioned the Abbott government's ability to actually deliver promised carbon emissions targets under its Direct Action plans.

The inquiry, dominated by Labor and Greens senators, reported on Wednesday and highlighted a lack of detail about how the policy would work.

Among its key recommendations were not repealing the carbon tax, ensuring current emissions reductions targets remain and ensuring enough staff and resources are put to the Coalition's plan.

It also found the policy, which has been questioned by economists and environmentalists, but is supported by key business lobby groups, was "fundamentally flawed".

But Environment Minister Greg Hunt on Thursday hit out at the inquiry, saying it was simply a Labor-Greens "whitewash".

He said the government also planned to release a white paper on its key climate change policy in the next few weeks.

But he told ABC Radio the program, which relies on incentive payments to business to reduce emissions, would remain "capped" even if it did not meet its targets.

The government's stated targets are to reduce emissions by 5% by 2020, despite urging by Labor and the Greens to commit to the original minimum of 15% reductions in carbon emissions by 2020.


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