“Dinosaurs” Urged to Evolve and Support Clean Energy Jobs

9 August 2009

Southern Cross Climate Coalition Media Release

Welfare, union, environment, and research organisations have launched a national multi-media campaign calling on “dinosaurs” in politics and business to stop blocking urgent climate action in Australia, saying this is holding up the creation of hundreds of thousands of new clean energy jobs.

“Urgent policies are needed to unlock billions of dollars of investment and deliver a just, fair and decisive transition to a clean energy economy,” said campaign spokesman John Connor, The Climate Institute CEO, at the Parliament House launch today.

“In a world turning to clean energy and technology, Australian industries are in danger of being left behind. Some dinosaurs in Australian politics and business are blocking climate action that will create the hundreds of thousands of clean energy jobs we need now more than ever.

“It’s time for these dinosaurs to evolve.”

Key facts about the global clean energy economy include:

o In 2008 alone, US$155 billion was invested in new clean energy sources, representing a four-fold increase since 2004 and for the first time outstripping investments in fossil fuel technologies.

o Worldwide, the renewable energy sector already employs an estimated 2.3 million people – more than the total number employed directly by the oil and gas industry.

o All credible economic research, including that used by big polluters, shows that Australian jobs and the economy will grow even with significant carbon pollution reductions .

The campaign, backed by The Climate Institute, the ACTU, Australian Council of Social Service, the Australian Conservation Foundation and WWF, is launching as parliamentary debate is set to resume on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and Renewable Energy Target.

The multimedia campaign, which includes national advertising, online communications, and public information sessions, will run until the international climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in December and beyond.

“We know that the shift to a clean energy economy requires assistance to workers and families. All the research shows we can have a prosperous economy and avoid the worst impacts of climate change if we get cracking now and that the longer we wait the more it will cost,” said Mr Connor.

The campaign also links to a newly created website www.cleanenergyjobs.com.au built in partnership with GetUp, and provides facts, research and case studies on clean energy jobs.

“There has been too much delay and too much squabbling between all politicians. Urgent action is needed this year to strengthen climate policies, grow a clean energy economy and help achieve an effective global climate agreement.

“We are saying to all politicians and business it is time to evolve, and calling on all Australians to help them evolve,” Mr Conor said.