A Federal Government appointed task group will report on a potential national emissions trading scheme next month.
Mr Costello, who is in Washington for a meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), wants to make sure any future system does not cripple the mining industry or send the economy into a downward spiral.
"Nobody should be thrown out of work or lose their business or lose their home because of a zealot, or zealotry in relation to policy," he said.
But the federal Opposition has criticised Mr Costello for branding the state and territory leaders’ call for a national carbon trading system as zealotry.
Opposition spokesman for the environment Peter Garrett says the scheme keeps people in work while enabling them to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"It’s extraordinary that the Treasurer should be going on the public record talking about zealotry in relation to establishing a market to trade a commodity, something which businesses want to do," he said.
"I’ve had no suggestions from anybody about a national emissions trading scheme is actually going to be designed to put people out of work, in fact it’s designed to do the opposite."