A revised Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme announced by the Government today is a positive settlement that will protect jobs in exposed industries and set Australia on the path towards a potential 1 million climate friendly, green jobs in coming years.
ACTU President Sharan Burrow said the Government’s proposed scheme would protect jobs during the transition to a low-carbon economy by providing more assistance to emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industries.
It is important that all parties should now end the political posturing and support the revised package so Australia can begin the urgent tasks of cutting greenhouse emissions and capturing a share of the projected $US2.7 trillion global green market by 2020.
Ms Burrow said the revised target of a 25% reduction in carbon pollution by 2020 if there is international agreement at Copenhagen later this year gave Australia a strong negotiating position to help the world achieve ambitious cuts to greenhouse emissions.
Also welcome is the recognition of voluntary efforts by households to cut their own emissions.
“The reforms announced today will provide the certainty needed for industry to begin investing in renewable energy and solutions to climate change so that Australia can create up to 1 million climate-friendly and green jobs over the next two decades,” Ms Burrow said.
“This proposal acknowledges the harsh economic realities facing the nation and the necessity to carefully assist exposed industries during the transition so that jobs are protected.
“It also establishes a more ambitious longer term target that can be achieved by substantial investment in renewable energy, efficiencies in households, businesses and industries, and new technology such as carbon capture and storage.
“It is time for all sections of the community to move forward with real action on climate change. The looming environmental catastrophe from doing nothing is too serious for further squabbling.
“Australia will be behind the eight ball in the global race for climate-friendly jobs and industries unless we act quickly in support of this new scheme.”