"On climate change Tony Abbott is a denier, Kevin Rudd has back flipped and only the Greens can be trusted," said Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne.
"The decision to scrap the fixed carbon price is cowardly. If you believed that climate change was the greatest moral challenge of our time, and it is, you would not now be moving to have the big polluters pay less. That is what Kevin Rudd is doing. It is all about politics and not about policy.
"The carbon price has driven electricity away from coal to renewables. Making coal fired power cheaper will slow down the transition to clean energy in the Australian economy. That is bad for jobs and competitiveness. But it will please the coal generators.
"If anyone was in any doubt about Kevin Rudd's back flipping on climate change, then today's announcement that he wants the big polluters to pay less will confirm that.
"There is no good policy reason to bring forward flexible pricing. If the European price was $50 a tonne, would Kevin Rudd be moving to bring it forward? The answer is clearly no. He wants to send a signal to the big polluters that he wants to slow down the transition.
"Kevin Rudd believes a 5% emission reduction target is enough. This denies the science which requires a much higher level of ambition.
"The Climate Change Authority was set up to depoliticise target setting and recommend carbon budgets for Australia for 2015 onwards. Now Kevin Rudd has restarted the target debate for cheap political reasons and to the detriment of the climate.
"Is Rudd intending to keep the Climate Change Authority or is he now trying to go back to his disgracefully inadequate 5%? Will he guarantee spending on biodiversity, clean technology and low carbon communities or are they all to go in the rush to please the big polluters?" said Senator Milne.