Climate Change - environmental imperative and economic opportunity

15 December 2021

Labor knows that climate action is not only an environmental imperative, but an economic opportunity.

Scott Morrison pretends there’s no race, taking empty promises to an empty room in Glasgow. Australians and the Australian economy are missing out and we will be left behind because of his stubborn refusal to act.

The world’s climate emergency could be our jobs and investment opportunity, but only when Australia is led by a Labor Government with the vision and plans to ensure we seize this moment.

An Albanese Labor Government will deliver Powering Australia – Labor’s plan to create jobs, cut power bills and reduce emissions by boosting renewable energy.

Independent modelling shows that Powering Australia will create more than 600,000 jobs and spur $76 billion in investment.

It will increase the share of renewables to 82% by 2030, cutting power bills for families and businesses.

And alongside the economic benefits, Powering Australia will reduce emissions by 43% by 2030 – keeping us on track for net zero by 2050, compared to the Morrison Government’s 26-28% target, which was set back when Tony Abbott was Prime Minister.

Powering Australia is squarely focussed on the economic interests of Australian families and businesses. It is a plan that is both ambitious and achievable.

Under Powering Australia, Labor will:

  • Invest $20 billion for the urgent upgrade of the electricity grid so it can handle more renewable power, working with the private sector to create thousands of jobs across the regions and deliver cheaper, more reliable electricity to homes and businesses.
  • Co-invest $100 million for 85 solar banks across the country – providing cheaper electricity for more than 25,000 households that are locked out of rooftop solar, like renters and low-income households
  • Install 400 community batteries across the country with an investment of $200 million to maximise the benefits of Australia’s rooftop solar transformation, support the grid and provide shared storage for up to 100,000 households
  • Adopt the Business Council of Australia’s recommendation for facilities already covered by the Government’s Safeguard Mechanism that emissions be reduced gradually and predictably over time, to support international competitiveness and economic growth – consistent with industry’s own commitment to net zero by 2050
  • Protect the competitiveness of Emissions Intensive Trade Exposed industries by ensuring they will not face a greater constraint than their competitors
  • Allocate up to $3 billion from Labor’s National Reconstruction Fund to invest in green metals (steel, alumina and aluminium); clean energy component manufacturing; hydrogen electrolysers and fuel switching; agricultural methane reduction and waste reduction
  • Provide direct financial support for measures that improve energy efficiency within existing industries and develop new industries in Regional Australia through a new Powering the Regions Fund
  • Support the development and commercialisation of emissions-reducing livestock feed and improve carbon farming opportunities
  • Reduce the Australian Public Service’s own emissions to net zero by 2030, with the Australian Defence Force and other national security agencies exempted given their unique operational needs
  • Invest in 10,000 New Energy Apprentices to be trained in the jobs of the future, and a $10 million New Energy Skills Program will work with industry, unions and the states and territories to ensure training pathways are fit-for-purpose
  • Work with large businesses to provide greater transparency on their climate related risks and opportunities
  • Introduce an Electric Car Discount to make electric vehicles cheaper by removing inefficient taxes from low-emissions vehicles (import tariffs and the Fringe Benefits Tax will be removed from models below the luxury car tax threshold)
  • Provide $14 million to establish a real-world vehicle testing program to ensure Australians aren’t slugged with higher fuel costs than they were expecting, with typical Australian households currently paying $750 a year more for fuel than advertised
  • Work with industry, unions, states and consumers to develop Australia’s first National Electric Vehicle Strategy, including using existing Commonwealth commitments like roads funding to encourage EV charging infrastructure
  • Re-establish Commonwealth leadership by restoring the role of the Climate Change Authority, while retaining decision-making and accountability by Government including a new annual report to Parliament
  • Ensure large businesses provide Australians and investors with greater transparency and accountability when it comes to their climate-related plans, risks and opportunities
  • Bid to co-host a future Conference of the Parties in Australia with Pacific partner countries and constructively and ambitiously participate in international forums. 

For nearly a decade, the Liberal Government’s mismanagement of our energy policy has been a threat to our economy – leaving Australia missing out on the jobs, growth, and opportunities that our abundant renewable resources could unlock.

After years of saying that a net zero commitment would ruin the economy and cost jobs, the Government has finally been dragged kicking and screaming to net zero by 2050, but with no legislation, no new policies, no modelling and no increase from Tony Abbott’s 2030 target.

They have refused to outline any details of their 2050 plan, and they expect Australians to buy it. It isn’t a plan. It’s a scam.

The world’s climate emergency is Australia’s jobs opportunity – and only Labor will seize it.

Powering Australia will create jobs, cut power bills and reduce emissions by boosting renewable energy, and will be delivered by an Albanese Labor Government that puts Australia’s interests first.