Up to one million new jobs could be created in Australia in the manufacturing, energy, construction, transport, agriculture, forestry and water industries if the country invests positively in clean energy, it is claimed.
Globally unions are calling for increased private and public investment in clean energy technologies in the wake of the new analysis of job creation potential by the Millennium Institute.
Ged Kearney, president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, said that the study backs up what unions have been saying all along, that strong action on climate change will be a boon to key industries, including manufacturing.
‘The report convincingly makes the employment case for the clean energy economy and demonstrates how public and private investment can create decent jobs in a low carbon economy,’ she said.
‘The Federal Government’s Clean Energy Future package in Australia is an important step in driving the investment in a low carbon economy and the associated job creation. Australia is taking action to reduce emissions by putting a price on carbon while implementing complementary policies including the Clean Energy Finance Corporation that will invest $10 billion in new technologies and $1.2 billion to support energy efficiency improvements in manufacturing,’ she explained.
Kearney believes that the study shows that the path the Federal Government has paved for Australia is important for the future of the economy broadly and particularly for jobs.
And she hit out at opposition leader Tony Abbott, saying that his ‘continual negative attack on climate change is not only harmful to our environment, which is undergoing very real change, but to our economy. This new research blows apart this scare campaign and proves that Australia’s economy will not only continue to be strong, but will thrive under the right policy framework’.
She warned that the industry policy needs to be right to maximise the job creation through innovation and investment in clean energy technologies that are manufactured in Australia. ACTU research has found that acting on climate change was not inconsistent with job creation.
Kearney added that the study was the first time economists used the number of jobs that could be directly created as a result of investments as a key indicator to analyse the impact of the clean energy economy in 12 countries and seven industries, including the energy, manufacturing, construction and transport sectors in Australia.