National

China, India must reduce emissions: Taylor

By AAP Newswire

Energy Minister Angus Taylor says it's up to developing countries to reduce their emissions, downplaying concerns over a major climate report that will reportedly call for coal to be phased out by 2050.

Mr Taylor says Australia contributes a small fraction of global emissions and is on track to reduce emissions in the electricity sector by 26 per cent by 2030, based on 2005 levels.

"The critical thing here is other countries, whether it's China or India, the developing world is where there's a great deal of growth in emissions," he told Sky News on Monday.

"It's going to be crucial that they, of course, contribute over time."

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report will be released on Monday, and is expected to call for coal-fired power stations to be phased out by 2050 to prevent the most severe effects of global warming.

"The key here is not to focus on an industry, it's to focus on the outcomes," Mr Taylor said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says climate change is important to Australia's Pacific neighbours, but he doesn't want the nation to be "pulled around by the nose" by scientific reports.

"I'm not going to spend money on global climate conferences and all that sort of nonsense," he told 2GB radio on Monday.

Mr Morrison says Australia's commitment to the Paris agreement won't have negative impacts on electricity prices or jobs.

Since burying the National Energy Guarantee, which sought to ensure reliable supply while reducing emissions, the federal government has introduced several recommendations from the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission.

The energy minister has announced a price safety net and has flagged increasing competition in the sector and stamping out price-gouging.

However, Origin Energy CEO Frank Calabria says fixing a default price will result in unintended consequences and doesn't focus on the cause of rising prices.

"Capping prices would add complexity and cost, stifle investment and innovation and ensure that only the larger retailers such as Origin are able to effectively compete for customers," Mr Calabria wrote in the Australian Financial Review.

Labor has a 45 per cent renewable energy target, and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says fossil fuels will remain part of Australia's energy supply.

"What we want to see is more renewable energy in our energy mix because the technology, the jobs and the environment all benefit by greater emphasis on renewables and, in particular, it will lead to cheaper prices," Mr Shorten told reporters in Melbourne.