Scientists say draft energy policy has “short-term focus”"

A LEADING group of scientists and engineers has hit out at the Abbott government's burgeoning energy policy, saying it fails to recognise Australia may find itself "out of step" with international action on climate change.

The criticisms were detailed in the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering submission to the government's energy green paper released earlier this year.

Under the green paper, the government sets out a range of policy priorities that focus on market-based solutions for gas and electricity, but proposes little to change the way Australia's energy industries address climate change.

The ATSE submission criticised the draft policy for a "short-term focus", an "acceptance of fossil fuel reliance" and said it fell short on supporting investment for long-term action on climate change.

While the group recognised the continued need to rely on fossil fuels, it argued the paper failed to recognise or plan for "the real geopolitical and economic risks of Australia finding itself to be out of step with international thinking around greenhouse gas emissions".

It argued the plan, as drafted, could further leave the nation "exposed to possible future international moves to limit and price carbon emissions".

The submission comes a day after the United States and China reached a landmark deal to further reduce both nations' emissions, which puts further weight behind the Academy's submission.

The government is still considering submissions from the energy green paper, which was released in September.