Scott Morrison says he accepts climate change is driving longer, hotter and drier summer seasons and the government's emissions targets need to "evolve".
The prime minister has faced criticism for lacking ambition on cutting Australia's emissions and a number of his coalition partyroom colleagues have downplayed the link between climate change and the devastating bushfires.
Australia has pledged to cut emissions by 26 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, under the Paris Agreement.
"It is my intention to meet and beat that target," Mr Morrison told ABC TV on Sunday.
"In the years ahead we are going to continue to evolve our policy in this area to reduce emissions even further and we are going to do it without a carbon tax, without putting up electricity prices and without shutting down traditional industries."
Asked whether he was open to moving the existing target, he said: "What I'm saying is we want to reduce emissions and do the best job we possibly can and get better and better and better at it."
Mr Morrison acknowledged some within coalition ranks felt climate change had nothing to do with the bushfires.
But it was the government's "uncontested" advice and position that climate change was impacting on longer, hotter, drier summer seasons.
"That is the position of the government - let there be no dispute about that," he said.
Mr Morrison said one of the issues which should be explored by a royal commission into the bushfires, which he will put to cabinet and the state premiers in coming weeks, would be the impact of climate change.
Australia Institute executive director Ben Oquist said it was a "good move" to include climate in the terms of reference for a royal commission.
"But Australia will have to do more to tackle coal and gas to have a credible climate policy on the international stage," Mr Oquist said.
"The coal and gas industry should begin to help pay the mounting costs of climate impacts, recovery and adaptation through the introduction of a climate disaster levy."
Mr Morrison has rejected the idea of a levy, arguing it would hurt the broader economy.
Australian Associated Press