Finance Minister Simon Birmingham has dismissed a call from a Biden administration envoy for Australia to be more ambitious about its 2030 carbon emissions reduction target.
United States deputy climate envoy Jonathan Pershing has warned that Australia's targets are "not sufficient", the Guardian has reported.
Dr Pershing said the urgency of the threat outlined in the landmark report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this week would put "a lot more pressure" on Australia as one of the world's biggest emitters.
He says Australia should be considering a 50 per cent cut in emissions by 2030.
Senator Birmingham told parliament on Thursday that Australia has a pattern of exceeding its commitments, and would do so again on the target agreed at the last climate talks in Paris.
"We should hold our head high that as a nation, when we've made commitments to the world about our emissions reduction target, we've delivered."
He said that builds on the fact that since 2005, Australia has seen a 20 per cent reduction in emissions, which is faster than the US at 13 per cent, Japan at 10 per cent, Canada at one per cent or New Zealand at four per cent.
"I don't mention that as a criticism of those places, but simply to put into perspective what Australia has been able to achieve."
Senator Birmingham said government departments had been asked to "chart the course" to net zero.
The Morrison government is yet to make a formal commitment to net zero by 2050 to match its closest ally the US.
Other governments are also preparing to make more ambitious 2030 or 2035 targets, increasing the pressure on Australia ahead of international climate talks in Glasgow in November.
Representing the prime minister in the Senate, the minister said investing $20 billion in technologies to reduce emissions is central to Australia doing its part.
Breakthroughs in technology were also important to help other countries who have a higher emissions profiles that Australia, he said, pointing to the United States, India and China.
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.