Foreign aid dollars shuffled for Green Climate Fund

FOREIGN Minister Julie Bishop has defended moving $1 billion from the general foreign aid budget to boost Australia's contribution to the global Green Climate Fund.

As Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull made the five-year funding commitment in Paris, Labor and the Greens hit out at the deal in Canberra.

Both the Opposition and minor party said Australia's contribution to the fund should not be at the expense of its foreign aid to other nations.

Ms Bishop said the funding was for what the aid budget was "designed to do - to assist in natural disaster relief".

She also rejected a proposal from Mr Turnbull that Australia's carbon emissions reduction target could be boosted when it was next reviewed in two years.

Amid backbencher criticism of Mr Turnbull's comments on Monday, Ms Bishop said the 26-28% cut to Australia's emissions by 2030, from 2005 levels, had been a decision of the party room and there was "no room for renegotiation".

Labor's foreign affair spokeswoman, Tanya Plibersek said it was a new sign of division in the government, and Mr Turnbull's comments had "scared the horses".

The Greens also took aim at Mr Turnbull over Australia's rejection of a statement of support at the summit for reform of fossil fuel subsidies.

Launched on the first full day of the Paris conference, the statement will be signed by almost 40 countries committed to phasing out inefficient government subsidies for the use of coal, gas and oil.

But with rural and conservative MPs in the Coalition committed to the diesel fuel rebate, support for the statement proved a bridge too far for the PM.

Topics:  climate change foreign aid politics

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