Topics: Paris climate conference
Greg Hunt, what’s the mood going into this summit?
I think it’s very positive and that’s exemplified by the fact that over 150 world leaders are due to attend the Leaders' Day including, of course, Prime Minister Turnbull from Australia
A Prime Minister, a Foreign Minister, and an Environment Minister turning up here in Paris. Is that a message Australia is serious?
We have taken this as a very serious commitment. We have prepared domestically.
I’ve got to say that we have been received exceptionally well.
At the pre-Paris meeting which I attended only a couple of weeks ago – only a few days before the tragedies here in Paris – Australia and Canada were the two countries singled out for praise and applause for the approach which we were now taking.
A 26 to 28 per cent reduction target – that’s what you’re coming to Paris with. Some say that's not enough.
The Prime Minister says it's reasonable. But is Australia open to revisiting that target?
Well what we’ve done is, of course, meet and beat our 2020 targets.
Those figures have been announced and it's clear and conclusive that we are able to bring to this meeting success in our 2020 targets.
In our 2030 targets, they are of course far in excess of what had been the previous position from the previous government of minus 5 per cent for 2020.
And we've set out an ambitious target and a credible target, a pathway to meet it, we are meeting it.
And what is interesting is that we've also said – and it's an Australian compromise that we've put to the world – there should be reviews every five years. We're willing to participate in that.
What conditions would you increase the target under?
Well we want to see probably three things.
Firstly, progress in Australia against our domestic targets. On that front, I'm extremely confident.
Secondly, we want to see general global action.
And thirdly we have already prepared a pathway to come to any 2020 meeting in a constructive frame, by two years from now having a review mechanism which could allow Australia to adopt international units or international credits.
What’s the bar that this summit needs to get over for you to call it a success?
Well I think there needs to be a global agreement, and it needs to commit and have a credible pathway to keeping temperature rises below two degrees.
Already there are very positive signs.
Over 180 countries have made pledges and they are of varying degrees of success.
The test for the Paris conference is a pathway to two degrees.
The honest answer is that it is at the moment on track for 2.7 on the pledges at this meeting, which is why the Australian compromise of five year reviews is so fundamental to success.
It bridges developed and developing; it bridges large emitters and small emitters; vulnerable and less vulnerable.
And so the only way to achieve that outcome, but the necessary way to achieve that outcome, is deep commitments here, followed by reviews and five yearly updates
Greg Hunt there, talking to our Europe correspondent Lisa Millar.