Economist slams Abbott approach to carbon emission reduction

A TOP economist has slammed the Coalition's Direct Action Plan on climate change and the CSIRO has questioned whether the plan would meet its aims to reduce carbon emissions by 5% by 2020.

Professor Ross Garnaut, a key supporter of pricing carbon, hit out at the Abbott government's plan during a Senate inquiry hearing on Friday.

His submission to the inquiry said the Direct Action Plan touted at the Coalition's replacement for Labor's carbon price would not achieve its promised emissions reductions without at least an extra $4 billion in incentives.

He wrote such a plan would see a "deterioration" of the Federal Budget of $4 to $5 billion every year.

Prof Garnaut also hit out at the lack of detail and planning that went into the policy released to date, writing the government's green paper "makes no effort to meet the elementary requirements of good practice with new regulation".

His questioning of the details in the policy was also backed by a more muted submission from the nation's chief scientific body.

The CSIRO wrote that while there were many options for emissions abatement, "whether Australia will or will not capture these abatement opportunities will depend on the detailed design of the program".

The hearing also follows the Climate Change Authority's recent urging of the government to adopt the more stringent emissions reduction target of at least 15% by 2020, while the government failed in its first bid to abolish the authority this week.

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