Australian states don't need to wait for the federal government to show leadership on climate change, former US vice-president Al Gore says.
Mr Gore, who met Labor politicians and business leaders in Melbourne, said the US state of California showed states could go it alone when it came to initiatives that created economic growth and green industry jobs.
"It's too early in the year to conclude that the (US) national government will not (act), but for my part, I am just happy that these state governments are filling whatever void might be left ... moving in a very bold and imaginative way, to provide the kind of leadership that I think most Australians are asking for," he said.
Mr Gore also said the Abbott government's climate policies had caused "head-scratching" in the international community, at the same time the US and China had agreed on historic actions before the UN's Paris climate convention later this year.
Environment ministers from Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, along with Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, met Mr Gore.
Mr Shorten said their talks confirmed Labor was on the right track with climate policy.
Victorian opposition leader Matthew Guy said the Victorian government needed to state whether it supported a carbon tax, as the tax would be "disastrous" for the state.