National leader Don Brash has attacked the Government's announcement on climate change saying it provides no real detail on what should be done about the issue.

Minister David Parker yesterday released the Government's work programme to rebuild a policy area left in tatters by numerous setbacks, including the dumping of a broad-based carbon tax due to a lack of political support.

In it, Mr Parker said the Government was still looking at a narrower carbon tax for electricity generators and large industry. Decisions on this were probably a year away and the Government could decide to have no tax based climate change policy and instead work on other longer term solutions, he said.

The Government also hoped to make decisions on tougher vehicle import standards and other aspects of climate change policy by the end of the year.

But Dr Brash said today: "The Government issued a statement yesterday with a consultation document that would have been appropriate four or five years back when it ratified the Kyoto Protocol ahead of our trading partners."

He told National Radio: "We've had seven years of a government that's been talking about energy policy, talking about energy policy, talking about energy policy.

"I think yesterday's was the ninth document which the Government's put out in seven years talking about the policy around energy and we're still talking about the policy that we might get finalised within the next 12 to 18 months.

"Well that's surely totally unacceptable."

He said National would appoint an infrastructure minister and reform the Resource Management Act (RMA), which he said was a "major impediment" to fast decisions. The Electricity Commission also added bureaucracy, Dr Brash said.

He said his party was willing to consult with the Government over the issue and wrote to it with that offer six months ago.

Mr Parker said he was open to talking but disagreed that the RMA was a impediment to electricity generation and transmission.

There was no deadline on the policy.

"It's pretty clear climate change is on the way whether we like it or not," Mr Parker said. "Preparing for these sorts of things does take time and we'll take the time needed to do it properly."

Some decisions, such as over windfarms, could be made by the end of the year.

- NZPA