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PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has hinted at a new frontier for tackling climate change: a national overhaul of public transport.
The introduction of emissions trading is dominating the climate change debate, with a major report to be handed down by government adviser Ross Garnaut on Friday.
But Mr Rudd said he also had other fish to fry on global warming policy.
He said it was "time to act" on public transport, and signalled the federal government would get involved.
"Ask yourself this question, how much do people waste each week sitting in unnecessary traffic queues?" he said.
"And how much ... do they put into the environment in terms of greenhouse gas emissions because we have yet to evolve a large, long-term investment into urban public transport systems, with the national government playing its role as well?
"I think it is time to act."
Mr Rudd also said he would take action on energy efficiency and alternative fuels.
A leading economist sought to clear up some of the confusion over an ETS, saying it must hurt or it won't cut carbon emissions.
There have been calls for consumers to be shielded from price rises caused by emissions trading, possibly by mass compensation.
But Chris Richardson, director of Access Economics, said the point was that prices would rise to force consumption down.
"The whole idea of carbon pricing is that if it doesn't hurt it won't work," he told ABC Radio.
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