Call for decisive climate leadership to unleash clean energy jobs

6 August 2009

Southern Cross Climate Coalition Media Release

Decisive leadership on climate change will create up to a million new clean energy jobs in Australia by 2030, the Southern Cross Climate Coalition said in a statement today.

“Australia needs a clean energy industrial boom that will create new jobs and investment, starting today,” the statement says. “Otherwise, we risk being left behind as one of the developed world’s most carbon polluting and inefficient economies.”

The statement says the global ‘low carbon and environmental goods’ sector is now worth A$6.1 trillion and the global renewable energy sector already employs around 2.3 million people – more than the total number employed directly by the oil and gas industry.

The statement says leadership at December’s UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen and legislating for a stronger emissions trading scheme and renewable energy scheme are crucial to unleashing the potential for jobs in a clean energy economy.

“The fate of Australia’s natural icons, our great rivers and our farming and coastal communities depends on an effective international agreement to cut carbon pollution, so it’s crucial we getcracking,” said ACF executive director Don Henry.

“Australia can create up to a million clean energy jobs in at least six industries, but there’s no time to waste, we must get started now,” said ACTU president Sharan Burrow. “We need strong policies implemented as quickly as possible to drive investment so we can begin the economic and environmental transformation.”

“Australians living with poverty will be hit hard by climate change. We need decisive leadership so that action on climate change is implemented swiftly, protects the most vulnerable, and creates clean energy employment,” said Clare Martin, CEO, Australian Council of Social Service.

“Australia’s jobs growth, and economic prosperity, is inextricably linked to that of our neighbouring emerging trading partners. Dependable financing and investment in clean energy and low carbon technology is crucial to that growth being sustainable, said John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute.

The Southern Cross Climate Coalition comprises leading union, environmental, social and research organisations working to promote solutions to the climate crisis.

Read the SCCC Joint Statement here.