PM under pressure as Coalition changes tune on climate change

Senior Coalition cabinet ministers are calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to "take strong action" on climate change to ensure "prosperity for future generations" and reduce the risk of another horror bushfire season.

State Environment Minister Matt Kean has confirmed a group of his Canberra colleagues - including both moderates and conservatives - are pushing for stronger climate policies, with some already speaking with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to discuss the "huge issue".

NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean has confirmed federal counterparts are changing their stance on climate change. 19. Picture: AAP
NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean has confirmed federal counterparts are changing their stance on climate change. 19. Picture: AAP

"There is widespread support for the prime minister to take strong action when it comes to climate change … MPs from right across the party, from different states, different factions, all want to see decisive and responsible action when it comes to tackling climate change," Mr Kean told Sharri Markson on Sky last night.

"Their communities are crying out, (the MPs are) listening to the majority of people in their electorates that are saying 'we want you to protect our environment but we don't want you to do in a way that's going to destroy our economy … and take away jobs - you can do both'."

Shifting energy markets could have ramification for Aussie coal exports.
Shifting energy markets could have ramification for Aussie coal exports.

Mr Kean said the concerned group of MPs "fully support" Mr Morrison but wanted Australia to seize the opportunity to become the "energy superpower for the rest of the world".

"The markets we export all our coal to are decarbonising, they're starting to look for cleaner, cheaper sources of energy and there's no country on the planet better placed to ­provide that than Australia," he said.

Mr Kean said they wanted the community to know there were "other voices out there, in contrast to people like Craig Kelly".

Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has criticised predecessors Bill Shorten for his emissions target ambitions.
Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has criticised predecessors Bill Shorten for his emissions target ambitions.

Mr Kelly came under fire earlier this month after he appeared on UK television and denied any link between climate change and the bushfires.

It is understood one of the commitments MPs are seeking from Mr Morrison is to not use "carry-over credits" to meet the government's emissions reductions targets under the Paris Agreement.

Australia has committed to reduce its emissions by 26-28 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030 but is able to "carry over" saved emissions from exceeding its targets in the previous Kyoto agreement to achieve this if needed.

It comes as Labor leader Anthony Albanese yesterday called Bill Shorten's decision to take a 45 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030 to the 2019 election a "mistake".

Mr Shorten's refusal to cost Labor's 45 per cent target during last year's election became a major issue for the party.

It’s reported that federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg is receiving feedback on the issue. Picture: Rohan Thomson/Getty Images
It’s reported that federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg is receiving feedback on the issue. Picture: Rohan Thomson/Getty Images
Liberal member for Hughes Craig Kelly, who came under fire for his climate comments.
Liberal member for Hughes Craig Kelly, who came under fire for his climate comments.

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