Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has hailed the international deal struck at the United Nations on Saturday night as a “bold step”, but said hard negotiations will have to follow.
After hard negotiating, with the United States proving the greatest stumbling block, the Federal Government endorsed cuts of at least 25% in emissions over the next 12 years.
But Climate Change Minister Penny Wong has assured business that the deal does not mean Australia has committed it to binding targets.
Business groups have welcomed the approach of the Australian Government to the talks, while green groups have called on Australia to take a greater leadership role over the next two years in the lead up the next UN meeting in Copenhagen.
Energy Supply Association of Australia chief executive Brad Page told The Australian Financial Review that the electricity industry faces significant challenges before 2020, while renewable energy technology was still in its infancy.