One of Australia’s most prominent energy experts says the economy will suffer serious damage unless an emissions trading scheme is rapidly introduced.
Ian Dunlop is a former chairman of the Australian Coal Association and the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is the head of a CSIRO research centre.
Mr Dunlop has accused the Prime Minister John Howard of a lack of leadership on climate change.
He says the technology is available to make change and the extent of the problem is being downplayed.
"We’ve been very good at managing the sort of incremental improvement of a resource-based economy, where every year we tweak it a little bit," he said.
"We put in WorkChoices, we do things like that, we make it slightly better, but that’s management.
"What we need now is leadership that really focuses on the big issue, which is climate change, and how we’re going to address that."