Government climate policy to feel heat at UN summit

THE Federal Government will face a key test on its approach to climate change policy during the United Nations Climate Summit in Warsaw next week, The Climate Institute has warned.

A policy brief from the lobby group released on Wednesday warned the international meet could be a "stumbling block" for negotiations on the goal of avoiding two degrees of global warming.

Institute chief executive John Connor said the Coalition's direct action plan would be tested on whether they could achieve targets.

"While no major emission reduction decisions are expected, decisions on the timeline to advance new emission reduction targets and other actions, as well as the political dynamics the meeting creates, will determine whether Warsaw is a staging post or stumbling block on the path towards an ambitious climate agreement in 2015," Mr Connor said.

He said other countries already knew the government's own Climate Change Authority had described the current 5% emissions reduction target as inadequate.

"If Australia does not deliver a credible domestic policy to match its commitments, it will undermine its ability to shape a treaty outcome consistent with our own national climate interest in avoiding 2C," he said.

Mr Connor called on the government during the meetings to clearly reiterate Australia's commitment to reducing emissions by up to 25% by 2020.