An attempt to force the federal government to tackle climate change has been shut down at a national meeting of energy ministers.
NSW Liberal Don Harwin tried to get the Council of Australian Governments meeting to discuss putting an emissions obligation into national energy policy.
But his fellow Liberal, federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor, refused to even discuss it.
"I am very disappointed by the actions of the federal government at COAG energy council in Adelaide today," Mr Harwin said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The refusal, on procedural grounds, to let the vital matter of restoring an emissions obligation into national energy policy be discussed is extraordinary."
His Queensland Labor counterpart Anthony Lynham said it was not a pleasant meeting, and Mr Taylor had "completely blocked" the NSW plan.
"Completely blocked by Angus Taylor. He has no interest in emission control or climate change," Dr Lynham told reporters.
But Mr Taylor said he was "focused" in the meeting on getting agreement on the retailer reliability obligation, which will require companies to ensure community power needs are met.
"We got a good outcome, we didn't get distracted and we won't get distracted," Mr Taylor told reporters.
He refused to be drawn on the state ministers' comments about his government's lack of a climate and emissions policy.
"By 2023 we will be well ahead of our (energy emissions reduction) target which is set for 2030. This is seven years ahead of time," Mr Taylor said.
Before the meeting, Mr Harwin said the federal Liberal-National coalition is out of touch on energy and climate policy.
"We recognise that climate change is a scientific fact," Mr Harwin wrote in the Australian Financial Review.
"We need to end the climate wars and put science, economics and engineering ahead of ideology."
The Liberal-Nationals NSW government announced a target in 2016 to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Victorian Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio was not at the meeting but she had no confidence the federal government would deal with emissions.
"We could possibly say they're beyond hope. They have still no plan, still no policy, on energy and climate change," she told reporters in Melbourne.
The coalition dumped its flagship energy policy - the National Energy Guarantee - in August, but Bill Shorten is planning to revive it and the states mainly support it.
The plan was aimed at dealing with energy prices, reliability and emissions, but conservatives in the coalition took issue with its emissions targets, with their distaste contributing to Malcolm Turnbull's downfall.
Australian Associated Press
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