Business and Industry Consider Climate Truce | Liverpool City Champion
Most business and industry leaders welcome a possible political truce on climate policy and the prospect of cleaning up the economy.
“Australia’s net zero commitment is bipartisan, which means that for the first time in a decade we have a chance of real progress on this path,” Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said after as Labor released its long-awaited emissions reduction plan on Friday.
“Australia is already on track to meet and exceed our 2030 target, so a more ambitious short-term target makes sense.”
RepuTex’s modeling, commissioned by Labor, examined the emissions and economic impacts of the Powering Australia plan.
Some 604,000 jobs would be created by 2030 if the plan became government policy against a business-as-usual scenario, with nearly three-quarters of the decarbonization of the power sector relying on coal.
The plan was to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by 43% by 2030, compared to the reference levels set in 2005.
Association of Mining and Exploration Companies chief executive Warren Pearce said Labor had set itself an “ambitious target”, although leader Anthony Albanese was keen to call the policy “modest”.
The initiatives could help the mining industry in its decarbonization efforts, including direct financial support for measures that improve energy efficiency in existing industries and to develop new industries in the Australian region, Pearce said.
“Achieving net zero emissions in our sector will require innovation, new technologies and a deep commitment to drive change,” he said.
Ms Westacott agreed with mining executives that it would be important for Labor to work closely with companies on the details, including measures to ensure jobs exposed to exports are not unfairly endangered.
The Minerals Council said regional industries, including mining, are the “backbone” of the country’s economy.
“It is essential that any policy change does not force emissions to be reduced faster than technology and commercial reality can,” said MCA Chief Executive Officer Tania Constable.
RepuTex modeling showed a total investment of $ 75.8 billion, or 3% of GDP, by 2030, with the plan mobilizing $ 2.15 of private investment for every dollar spent by taxpayers.
Electricity grid modernization projects to accommodate more renewable energies aim to speed up the construction of high-voltage infrastructure.
The Electricity Union, representing many workers deploying new technologies for an energy transition, said the plan was a “necessary intervention” to fix an increasingly fragile energy system.
The union also welcomed the plan to regularly review and update emission reduction targets.
“We have long needed a mechanism to remove hyper-partisan politics from the climate debate,” said ETU National Secretary Allen Hicks.
“Climate change is already impacting us and the energy transition is not a thing of the future, it is happening now.”
The leading oil and gas industry body said the Labor plan provided much-needed clarification on how labor emissions reduction targets would be met.
Andrew McConville, director of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, said access to international permits and credits as a means of offsetting emissions and the subsequent development of a domestic offsets market would be crucial.
“Natural gas can play a key role in Australia’s future energy mix, helping to reduce emissions while moving us towards a cleaner energy future,” said Mr McConville.
He said maintaining the industry’s international competitiveness and the attractiveness of Australia’s policy framework for new investments in the oil and gas industry would be a key part of talks with Labor in the coming weeks.
The Smart Energy Council welcomed the plan to increase the share of cheap renewables in the national electricity market to 82% by 2030.
“This is the cornerstone of establishing Australia as a renewable energy superpower,” said council chief executive John Grimes.
With the actions of state and territory governments and the rapid reduction in the price of solar and renewable energy, Australia can easily achieve a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030, ”he said.
The increase in renewables is expected to lower wholesale electricity prices, down nearly a fifth by 2025 from current levels and 26% by 2030.
The electricity, industry and carbon-based agriculture, and transport sectors covered by the Work plan represent 79% of national emissions in 2020-2021.
The Beyond Zero Emissions climate think tank said a commitment to rebuild the aging power grid to better cope with new energies, invest in clean manufacturing and a stricter emissions target would help regional Australia.
Australia could develop a new green export market worth $ 333 billion per year by 2050, almost triple the value of current fossil fuel exports, according to a BZE study.
“To take advantage of this windfall, we have requested the establishment of renewable energy industrial zones in our industrial centers,” said BZE spokesperson Tom Quinn.
“We welcome the $ 20 billion investment commitment for network upgrades.”
The ETU said 11 coal-fired power plants were closed under the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison governments.
“None of them were planned, leaving workers and their communities devastated by the fallout,” Hicks said.
He called for a new just transition authority to plan and support the new jobs needed for workers expected to leave high-emission industries.
Associated Australian Press