Tensions erupt in Turnbull government over climate and energy policy

Josh Frydenberg is confident the coalition party room will agree to a new clean energy target policy

Josh Frydenberg is confident the coalition party room will agree to a new clean energy target policy

"We are looking at it, giving it very favorable consideration", he told reporters.

"Every time this parliament sits down to discuss climate change, Tony Abbott comes in like a wrecking ball", Greens MP Adam Bandt said. His interventions were consistent.

The Nationals MP says he favours government-funded coal-fired power stations to lower emissions.

Turnbull said the government had to take action to deal with the challenges in the energy market that had manifested as a effect of the decade long climate wars.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott - who seized the Liberal leadership from Mr Turnbull in 2009 over climate policy differences - said there was unity in the party around three points.

Mr Joyce agreed the business as usual was no longer an option and Australia must meet its worldwide obligations to reduce emissions.

"Dr Finkel's report also outlines a vast suite of policy and regulatory reforms necessary to modernise our energy system".

Mr Kelly is prepared to back a clean energy target if there is action to boost stored power that can be used on demand. "We've still got a hell of a lot of it", crossbench senator Derryn Hinch told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

"The problem is that because the climate debate has been so toxic I think there's a sense that any plan is better than nothing", he told ABC radio.

"A clean energy target does not penalise coal, it does not prohibit the construction of a coal-fired power station or indeed a gas-fired power station", Mr Turnbull said.

At least 10 MPs expressed their doubts about Dr Finkel's plan, another 10 were broadly supportive while the remainder were noncommittal.

Mr Abbott reiterated his concerns about power affordability and the future prospects for coal-generated power. At a minimum these would include renewable energy, gas and coal using carbon capture and storage technology, if it can be developed, and for which certificates, similar to the Renewable Energy Target certificates, would be issued.

Mr Joyce said while it was not a tax on coal, "there is an advantage" to those technologies below the baseline.

'Remember it was a clean energy target that was actually first put forward by John Howard, ' he said.

Mr Turnbull had earlier sought to reassure his sceptical colleagues that he would take a pragmatic approach, compared to Labor's ideological commitment to an emissions intensity scheme and 50 per cent renewables by 2030.

The comments came as Labor's environment spokesman Mark Butler implored Mr Turnbull to muzzle senior conservative figures, led by Mr Abbott, who cast doubts on the Finkel formula before understanding it.

Speaking to the press on Wednesday, Treasurer Scott Morrison denied there was a rift within the party, instead saying the partyroom played host to a healthy discussion about the future of Australia's energy climate.

"I don't know how they're going to keep coal in the race if they keep the baseline too low", he said.

That implied that other sources of power supply - such as coal, where Australia sources 63 percent of its energy - could become more expensive rather than cheaper.

However, Finkel injected a dose of reality into the debate with his review of the National Electricity Market, which highlighted that the current crop of renewables has contributed to significant instability in the electricity market.