Conservative leadership candidate Peter MacKay says Canada’s Paris climate targets are a “dream” — but he’s not ready to abandon them or conclude they’re unachievable.

Under the 2015 multinational Paris agreement, Canada committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, a target that was first set by Stephen Harper’s government.

In an interview with CBC News Monday, MacKay said the emissions reduction targets are “aspirational.”

“But what we can’t afford,” he added, “is to be hypocrites, and we can’t afford to say we’re going to do things and then not even come close, which is the case right now.

“We’ve got to be realistic. We have to be grounded in ways in which we can actually lower our greenhouse gas emissions.”

MacKay said he isn’t ready yet to roll out his own climate policy — although the polls are telling him clearly he needs one.