Abbott still talks down climate change at G20 summit

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has insisted jobs and economic growth - not "what might happen in 16 years' time" on climate change - will be front and centre at the G20 summit in Brisbane.

The comment came as

senior US officials said climate change was an issue for the global economy.

Mr Abbott argued that "for Australia, I'm focusing not on what might happen in 16 years' time, I'm focusing on what we're doing now and we're not talking, we're acting" despite a long-ranging superpowers' climate deal.

RELATED: WE SAY: Climate deal puts us in coal limbo

Last month, he said "coal is good for humanity" and would remain an "essential part of our economic future" in Australia and right around the world.

In Washington yesterday, US State Department senior spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that at the G20 meeting "there will be a focus on economic issues and how we are co-ordinating with the global economy".

"Climate in our view is part of that," she said.

Mr Abbott's comments came after the US and China announced a deal that will slash their emissions targets.