Prime Minister John Howard says his carbon emissions report will silence critics who claim the Government has not acted on climate change.
The report, by the Commonwealth’s carbon emissions task group, says a trading scheme could be up and running by 2012.
But it does not set a price on carbon or name a specific target for greenhouse gas reductions.
Mr Howard is yet to formally release the report and this morning he would not say whether he would commit to its recommendations.
"This is a hugely burdensome and responsible decision," he said.
"If we get this wrong, if we embrace a target, we’ll do crippling damage to our economy.
"If we embrace a target that will increase electricity prices more than they should go up, then we’ll do enormous damage to Australian households and the broad economy."