To put it bluntly, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has dumped the plan to legislate a 26 per cent Paris emissions reduction target, seemingly to make his critics happy and to protect his leadership.

Critics of the energy policy believe the target plan – to reduce Australia’s emissions to between 26 per cent and 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 – will raise household power prices.

So now, emission targets will reportedly be set through Ministerial regulation rather than legislation and will concentrate on price cuts.

Sources tell The Australian that a number of key MPs were personally briefed on the “compromise policy” by Turnbull yesterday, after they threatened to vote against the legislation. Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, despite agreeing to the emissions target during his leadership, has since changed his mind and has vocally objected to the plan… and Turnbull.

The new plan will formally hit Cabinet on Monday night after Cabinet ministers meet in Canberra for discussion on Sunday. 

The back flip comes as insiders claim a number of MPs had been/are backing Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to take leadership.

The Paris Agreement, in short, has a central aim to strengthen the international response to climate change. A key goal is to hold the average temperature increase this century to well below 2°C. The agreement will also see those involved aim to promote action and build resilience to climate impacts.

The historic agreement was agreed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, 2015.

Prior to the agreement, countries were to submit post-2020 targets. Reducing Australia’s emissions to between 26 per cent and 28 per cent by 2030 had been ours.

Image: Getty Images / Stefan Postles