Canberra: Australia risks being left behind in the global renewables race unless the Australian Government urgently commits to a new $100 billion Australian Renewables Industry Package, according to a major new coalition of leading renewable energy, business, union, community and investor groups.
The diverse group of organisations has today joined forces at the Australian Renewables Industry Summit in Canberra to call for ambitious new policies that will secure a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity for the nation.
This follows the government’s commitment made in the last Federal Budget to respond to the passage of historic renewable industry policies overseas, including the Inflation Reduction Act in the United States.
The call for a ten-year $100 billion Australian Renewables Industry Package is endorsed by groups including the Australian Conservation Foundation, Australian Council of Trade Unions, Clean Energy Council, Climate Action Network Australia, Climate Energy Finance, First Nations Clean Energy Network, New Energy Nexus, Rewiring Australia and the Smart Energy Council.
With a global renewables industrial revolution underway, the group says Australia must act with speed and ambition now to fully realise the employment, export, economic, emissions reduction, environmental and social benefits for our nation, businesses and whole community before it is too late. The US Inflation Reduction Act has made this a global technology and investment race, at speed.
That means funding more ambitious industrial support packages to build new clean industries, attract greater investment and create thousands of new secure jobs, as what is currently happening under the ~US$1 trillion Inflation Reduction Act in the USA.
The group says a decade-long $100 billion new Australian Renewable Industry Package is essential to drive nation-building benefits for Australia.
“Australia is standing at a crucial juncture in our nation’s history,” said Smart Energy Council Chief Executive, John Grimes.
“Our world-leading resources and renewable energy potential provide the opportunity for Australia to become a driving force in the global green economy while driving down emissions in line with the science to maintain a safe climate.
“But without significantly greater investment, we simply won’t be able to build the industries of the future, reduce emissions, create jobs or strengthen national prosperity and social equity.”
“We need a far more integrated and ‘big picture’ approach to encourage greater investment, commensurate with the scale of this massive renewables and critical minerals/metals embodied decarbonisation export opportunity for Australia,” said Climate Energy Finance Founder, Tim Buckley.
“A $100 billion package will help re-industrialise the nation, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, diversify our export base and revenue streams as well as increase local value-added production, secure supply chains and develop sovereign manufacturing capabilities. This is climate policy as economic policy as national security policy – in the 21st century, these are fundamentally linked.”
“Australia is well placed to seize opportunities in clean energy and manufacturing. We are in a climate crisis and as the largest exporter of coal and LNG in the world, Australia has a unique opportunity to take a leading role in decarbonising critical industries such as iron and steel. The Australian Renewable Industry Package is needed to reduce industrial emissions and retain a safe climate,” said Australian Conservation Foundation CEO, Kelly O’Shanassy.
“The US, Canada, European Union, India, Korea and Japan are already committing hundreds of billions of dollars towards clean industrial support packages - Australia needs to take big action now to fulfill our enormous clean energy potential and create hundreds of thousands of well-paid, safe and secure jobs. Both the urgency of the climate crisis and the enormity of the clean energy opportunity for workers, their families and communities call for a bold, ambitious, fair and timely response from government,” said Australian Council of Trade Unions President, Michele O’Neil.