Business is demanding a permanent seat at the table on alternatives to a clean energy target.
The Business Council of Australia, which backed the Chief Scientist Alan Finkel's proposal, now says if the policy is being abandoned by the Turnbull government it wants to be included in working out a new one.
"We need a stable signal about how emissions would be treated in the economy," the council's head Jennifer Westacott told ABC radio on Wednesday.
The business community is being hampered by not knowing what the carbon price or mechanism will be in 2026.
"That means that there is a chilling effect on investment which we need to deal with affordability and reliability," she said.
Without agreement on a clean energy target business is back at square one with another false start, Ms Westacott warned.
"Let's make sure that in doing that we're sitting down with business and industry to make sure we get this right."
Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg on Monday appeared to be walking the government away from a clean energy target, suggesting the falling cost of renewables could lead to the market working itself out.