Climate laws urgently needed Australian jobs and environment stall as world moves forward

The ACTU, the Climate Institute, ACOSS and UnionsNSW are calling on all political parties to get Australia’s climate change laws into place as quickly as possible.  At a Climate Change and Jobs Forum in Sydney today, the groups said the creation of tens of thousands of new, clean energy jobs were being put at risk, as well as investment in new industries.

“There has been a complete failure by our politicians to deliver action on the most pressing issue of our generation. Climate action, at a most crucial time for our planet, is now at a standstill in Australia,” said John Connor, CEO if the Climate Institute.

“Enough is enough. If parliament can’t decide, then Australians must be given a vote. The climate emergency must be dealt with now,” he said.

“A majority of Australians want action, they have said it in poll after poll. Business is also calling for certainty so investment can begin to flow to build a low carbon economy,” said ACTU President Sharan Burrow.

“Modeling by Treasury and a range of independent reports shows we can create up to a million new clean energy jobs in the next 20 years in new and existing industries if we act urgently to put these laws in place.”

“Australia does not want to become the world’s carbon pollution rust-bucket by failing to modernize and invest,” said Ms Burrow

“The clock is ticking. The longer we stall on climate change action, the more it will cost our communities, our environment and our economy,” said ACOSS CEO Clare Martin.

“Without immediate action by our politicians, we will lose out on the benefits a clean energy economy will deliver to Australians, such as new jobs and training opportunities.”

The groups say world leaders meeting in Copenhagen next week officially recognize climate change as the most serious threat to the planet and are creating a collective course of action as a matter of urgency.

“With the world already moving fast on a new economic and political framework, Australia must take its place. It’s time for our politicians to knuckle down and meet the challenge head on without delay.”