Unlikely Government will raise emissions target above 5%

ENVIRONMENT Minister Greg Hunt will not likely consider raising the government's emissions reductions targets above 5% by 2020, despite urging from the Climate Change Authority on Thursday.

The authority, headed by former Reserve Bank governor Bernie Fraser, released its final report on reducing Australia's emissions on Thursday.

That report called on the government to enact a minimum emissions reduction of 15% compared with 2000 levels by 2020, despite the government's stated target of just 5% by 2020.

"This would represent a significant tightening of Australia's existing commitment to reduce emissions in 2020 by a minimum of 5%," Mr Fraser wrote.

"Adoption of the recommended 2020 target would constitute a responsible response by Australia at this time to the challenges of climate change."

Despite the urging of the independent authority, Mr Hunt responded by reiterating the government's commitment to abolish the authority to remove "duplication with costly bureaucracies".

"We have the Environment Department, Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO to provide comprehensive and independent advice to the Government on climate change," Mr Hunt said in a statement.

Mr Fraser also wrote that if action was not taken to reduce emissions to the recommended target by 2020, it would "push more of the burden of adjustment into later periods and onto future generations".


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