Taking action on climate change will generate thousands of Australian jobs, a new report suggests.

The Climate Institute commissioned research into the potential contribution of renewable energy to regional employment.

It found $31 billion worth of clean energy projects are underway or are planned around the country, which will create more than 26,000 jobs mostly in regional areas.

But institute chief executive John Connor said it was essential the federal government's carbon pollution reduction scheme legislation becomes law.

"If climate change and renewable energy legislation passes through federal parliament without being weakened it will help drive the industrial shift that can put Australia at the front of a global renewable energy boom," Mr Connor said on Monday.

The report also indicated the Rudd Government's 20 per cent of energy from renewable sources by 2020 target, $4.5 billion funding boost to support the growth of clean energy technologies and emissions trading scheme could build almost five times the energy capacity of the Snowy-Hydro scheme.

"It's time the polluters and politicians stopped arguing about climate action policies so we can get to work building these projects and their jobs," Mr Connor said.