Labor proud of ambitious climate target

Federal Labor denies its new ambitious climate action policy will hinder business and the economy.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will today reveal his party's long-awaited post-2020 emissions reduction targets, after committing to tougher climate action than the coalition.

Labor would aim to cut emissions by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, as part of a longer term plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Senior opposition frontbencher Anthony Albanese says there will be extensive industry consultation before the target is set in March to determine Labor's market-based mechanism.

"Business has recognised it is in their interest to move sooner rather than later to a carbon-constrained economy," he told the Nine Network.

"The sooner you move the cheaper it is."

But the government has labelled the policy "mad", warning of another carbon tax.

"For the next election he wants people to think that he is Mr Green but, actually, he would have to introduce a carbon tax at twice the last rate and smashing household budget costs and costing jobs and growths," cabinet Christopher Pyne said of Mr Shorten.

The opposition leader will acknowledge the 2030 target is ambitious, taking into account Australia's high per capita rate of emissions, when he addresses the Lowy Institute in Sydney.

"But we should not shy away from ambition," he will say.

Mr Shorten's announcement comes just days before Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Australian delegation arrive in Paris for major international climate talks.

The target, roughly in line with what the independent Climate Change Authority recommends, is significantly higher than the 2030 target the government will be armed with in Paris.

The coalition's 2030 goal - announced under former prime minister Tony Abbott - would cut emissions by 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels.

Labor's policy has received a warm welcome the Climate Institute, which believes the target is more credible than the government's and places Australian amongst other developed nations.

"These sorts of targets get us much closer to the pack and where we need to be," CEO John Conner told ABC radio.

Treasurer Scott Morrison says Labor's target is the sort of thing the Climate Change Commission had calculated would cost Australians more than $600 billion over a 15 year period.

"No wonder he wants to bring back a carbon tax with full fury to pay for those sorts of commitments," Mr Morrison told reporters in Brisbane on Friday.

"That sort of a tax ... is a tax on jobs, it's a tax on growth."

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