Buildings are seen amid a layer of smog in the city of Sao Paulo during the driest season in decades August 5, 2015. Reuters/Nacho Doce

Greens and Labor have unanimously rejected Federal Government’s plans on carbon emissions reduction, saying it is the minimum Australia can do to deal with climate change.

Both the parties have warned that the 26 percent target reduction will pull down Australia to last in the list of countries involved in dealing with climate change. For now, it is aiming at reducing emissions by 5 percent of 2000 levels by 2020.

Calling the plan to be “pathetically weak,” both have expressed their dissatisfaction with the emissions reduction which will cost the economy up to AU$4 billion a year. As a result, the coalition has been pressured to reveal post-2020 carbon emissions reduction target, which is supposed to be taken to global talks in Paris by the end of the year.

The post 2020 emissions reduction target could reach 28 percent depending on the impacts of the economy.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said that it was highly significant for the country to join the global efforts in curbing carbon emissions but believes that it should not come in the path of economic prosperity.

Opposition environment spokesman Mark Butler said the Government's target was not upto the mark. "Countries to which we often compare ourselves — like the U.S. and the United Kingdom, Germany, countries like that — all have targets in an equivalent timeframe into the 40 percent range, so 41 percent for America, 48 per cent for the UK, mid-40s for Germany," he said.

Similarly, Greens environment spokeswoman Larissa Waters backed Labor in their opinions and said Australia would lurk at the "back of the pack" globally under the proposed plans. She said the target was incredibly low and weak and accused Prime Minister Tony Abbott of living in denial about the science.

She believed that this move, keeping 2005 as the benchmark, does nothing but hides the real flaws of the present government. "The Prime Minister is trying to artificially inflate his pathetically weak targets," she said .

However, business groups have backed the Government's position, with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry calling the target as "realistic.”

ACCI’s chief executive Kate Carnell said that it was important to set a target that could be met as he believes that either high target levels would become impossible to achieve or it would alternatively impact on energy prices and the competitiveness of Australian industry.

Climate Institute’s chief executive John Connor criticised the plan and said it was a sheer failure on climate change. Similarly, the Climate Council, which was set up when the Abbott Government abolished the Climate Commission, also criticised the Coalition's approach.

Contact the writer at feedback@ibtimes.com.au, or let us know what you think below