Zali Steggall during question time on Tuesday (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)
Zali Steggall (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

Despite Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen's confident assertion that Labor's climate policy is minor party-proof, and can be implemented without input from the Greens, the Albanese government has a policy and a political problem over the next three years on climate.

The policy problem is that its 43% reduction target by 2030 -- while massively better than the Coalition's ridiculous Abbott-era target -- is still insufficient, and well short of the targets of countries such as the US and the UK. The end of Labor's first term will be in 2025 -- leaving just five years in what has been described as the most crucial decade for preventing 2-degree warming and keeping the goal of 1.5-degree warming in sight.

As part of the Glasgow agreement, Australia and other countries have been requested to revisit their targets by the end of 2022 -- which may become a permanent "ratchet" mechanism to keep pushing countries to lift their goals regularly. The government will be able to respond positively to this request with its higher targets.