Climate Change Minister Greg Combet has accused the Victorian government of trying to back-pedal on efforts to slash carbon emissions.
The Victorian government announced at the weekend it was launching a review of the state's Climate Change Act — a move that was triggered automatically when the federal Labor government introduced its carbon tax bills, expected to become law next month.
After committing itself to the former Brumby government's target of cutting carbon emissions by 20 per cent on 2000 levels by the end of the decade, Premier Ted Baillieu's Coalition has since toned down its support, calling the target "aspirational".
Mr Combet told The Age:
"The most efficient way to cut carbon pollution is through a carbon price. This is the view of the vast majority of the economics profession and . . . until recently it was also the view of Premier Baillieu.
"However, based on recent experience, Victorians could be forgiven for thinking the Baillieu government will use this review as an excuse to scrap what remains of the state's policies to tackle climate change, without real consideration of their merit."
The federal government's target under the carbon tax is to cut emissions by at least 5 per cent on 2000 levels for the nation as a whole by 2020.
Victorian Climate Change Minister Ryan Smith hit back, saying the review would sensibly avoid duplication and adding that Mr Combet had previously called for streamlining of federal and state efforts. Better co-ordination of state and federal carbon reduction schemes would "avoid duplication and minimise any waste of Victorian resources," Mr Smith said.
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