Australia braces for renewed climate wars in risk for Turnbull

Coal-burning power stations would continue to operate beyond 2050 according to the Finkel report

Coal-burning power stations would continue to operate beyond 2050 according to the Finkel report

Christensen said he had no intention of voting for a clean energy target that penalised coal and neither would the bulk of the National party.

"It would appear that chaos is the order of the day", he said.

Malcolm Turnbull's new climate and energy policy will need to find a central role for coal and guarantee lower power bills if it is to succeed, say coalition MPs.

"What Australians want is national policy certainty so we can have lower electricity prices".

Several other MPs conceded the debate over climate policy could turn into a wider conflagration over leadership, as happened in 2009, while others argued that - as long as their were significant concessions for coal, Mr Turnbull would likely navigate his way through.

Turnbull said the government had to take action to deal with the challenges in the energy market that had manifested as a outcome of the decade long climate wars.

Mr Joyce agreed the business as usual was no longer an option and Australia must meet its global obligations to reduce emissions. Mr Turnbull has been weakened and Australians are the loser.

The comments came as Labor's environment spokesman Mark Butler implored Mr Turnbull to muzzle senior conservative figures, led by Mr Abbott, who cast doubts on the Finkel formula before understanding it.

MPs in the party room meeting on Tuesday night expressed concern that Labor was not committed to a honest act of bipartisanship.

On Friday, chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel handed down a review of the nation's energy climate, calling for greater security of Australia's power generators and supply, as well as a future CET to replace the nation's current Renewable Energy Target (RET).

The hotly anticipated "Finkel Review" advised the government on the entire power market.

Other MPs spoke about the gas market and the use of renewable energy.

On Tuesday, Labor resolved to oppose the government trying to allow the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to invest in carbon capture storage technology, saying it was "nothing but a hollow gesture to appease extreme right MPs".

Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly says he would not support a benchmark emission target of 0.6 tonnes per megawatt hour - the level used by Dr Finkel to model economic effects - while former cabinet minister Eric Abetz hit out at what he labelled "creative assumptions" in the report.

The CET would provide incentives for generators to produce electricity below a certain emissions intensity baseline.

"A clean energy target does not penalise coal, it does not prohibit the construction of a coal-fired power station or indeed a gas-fired power station", Mr Turnbull said.

"You can't redefine or rig the definition of clean energy to include new coal", he told reporters in Canberra.

A clearly irritated Mr Joyce said "Mr Abbott is entitled to his opinion".

"The lack of a transparent, credible and enduring emissions reduction mechanism for the electricity sector is now the key threat to system reliability", the review said.

The future of coal-fired power is the major sticking point in the debate, with Mr Abbott and his supporters arguing that it is a lower cost and more reliable source of energy.

There was further backing for Dr Finkel's recommendations on Tuesday when Moody's Investors Services said most of Australia's energy utilities would become a better bet for investors to lend to them.

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