The task force was established in March 2004 by three think tanks - the Institute for Public Policy Research, the Centre for American Progress and the Australia Institute - with the aim of breaking the impasse in international climate negotiations.
The group was jointly chaired by US Republican Senator Olympia Snowe and former UK Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers. Its 14 members include leading politicians, business people and environmentalists from eight countries.
Launching the report, Mr Byers called for "urgent action" and strong political leadership on the international stage. He was, however, cautiously optimistic that the USA could be re-engaged: "In the first term of the Bush administration the door on climate change was locked. It's now unlocked - but still shut."
The main recommendations are as follows:
The USA and Australia - which have refused to ratify the Protocol - would be placed on a transitional "parallel track" with a view to full integration as soon as possible after 2012. They would be urged to commit to binding domestic emissions caps and cap-and-trade schemes. These should be constructed to allow for future integration into a single global market, and could link with the EU or Kyoto trading system "provided there is parity in the level of the caps" or a system for "discounting" credits if their caps are less stringent.
Developing countries would progress through a three-stage process: aligning development and climate goals; committing to reducing carbon intensity in key economic sectors, notably transport and energy; and eventually taking on binding emission targets. Some countries have already reached a level of industrialisation that would take them beyond the first stage.
A "G8-plus" group - which would include major emerging economies such as China and India - should be established. This would pursue technology agreements on issues such as promoting fuel-efficient vehicles, shifting agricultural subsidies towards biofuel production, driving use of cleaner coal technologies and improving institutional capacity and common standards to permit integration of emissions trading systems.
Export credit agencies and multilateral banks should adopt minimum efficiency standards for the projects they support, or portfolio-wide carbon intensity standards.
Finally, there should be a "step change" in financial and technical assistance to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.