Greg Hunt
Greg Hunt

Hunt rejects climate change critics

THE Abbott Government has defended its record on climate change policy following an attack on its approach to the issue by several countries at a meeting in Germany this week.

The US, China, South Africa, European countries and others queried whether the government's Direct Action policy would achieve its target of a 5% cut to carbon emissions by 2020, from 2000 levels.

The policy, which will pay $2.5 billion to heavy carbon-emitters to reduce their pollution, has been criticised by economists and climate change experts.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt (pictured) said, however, it would achieve the target.

"What we've been party to is precisely what the international community should be doing," he said.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan disagreed. The head of the Africa Progress Panel's 2015 report, Mr Annan described Australia as a climate change "free rider" and said it had dropped off the list of nations taking credible action to lower greenhouse gas emissions.