The ACT government's efforts to combat the impact of climate change were endorsed by lead United Nations negotiator Christiana Figueres on Friday, as she moved to dismiss criticism from a senior adviser to Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Ms Figueres, s
She dismissed as a joke claims by Mr Abbott's business advisor Maurice Newman that climate change was an UN "hoax" designed to lead to world domination.
Mr Newman used an opinion piece in The Australian on Friday to argue scientific modelling showing the link between human activity and climate change was wrong and the UN's real agenda was a world takeover.
He said global warming was a "hook" to install a new order and claimed Ms Figueres believed democracy was an ineffective political system for fighting climate change.
Senior government ministers declined to endorse the comments.
"I really don't take it very seriously because it doesn't respond to the reality or to facts," Ms Figueres said.
"The only thing that I can say there is that's really good fun. The UN agenda is very clearly to support governments, certainly federal governments, in doing what federal governments after due consideration consider to be in their own interests.
"We live in a world of free press and free opinion and, you know, if that's the humour in Australia then that's the humour in Australia."
"I have my own sense of humour. It's quite fine."
While the issue of climate response remains heavily contested at the national level, the ACT has a 90 per cent renewable energy target by 2020 as part of moves to reach a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on 1990 levels.
The territory has secured more than 280MW capacity of renewable energy through reverse auctions for large-scale solar power, 200MW of wind power and more than 40MW of domestic roof-top solar power.
Ms Figueres said the Abbott government would make its own decisions about appropriate responses "because it is in the best long term interest of the Australian economy."
She praised a bipartisan agreement between the government and opposition on the renewable energy target and called for agreement on more economic instruments to deal with the problem.
Mr Corbell also met with Ms Figueres in Adelaide this week as part of talks at a jurisdictional meeting on climate change organised by the South Australian Labor government.
"Clearly there is a strong role for cities and sub-national government when it comes to responding to the agenda of a changing climate but also to seize the economic opportunity that is so critical in a low carbon world," Mr Corbell said.
"It has been great to share Canberra's experiences with [Ms Figueres] and also to highlight and learn about how other sub-national governments around the world are acting in a very proactive way to drive down their city's and their region's emissions and create jobs in new low-carbon technologies."
Mr Corbell said the ACT Government was not on its own in taking action at a state and territory level.