Rather than go back to a reliance on industries that are driving climate change, we have a chance to boost markets and jobs in clean industries.

In response to Resources Minister Keith Pitt’s comments backing new coal mines and the removal of environmental safeguards to spur the economic recovery, Australian Conservation Foundation CEO Kelly O’Shanassy said:

“The coronavirus pandemic has not erased the threat of climate change, so Australia still needs to move quickly to stop burning polluting fuels like coal, oil and gas.

“Rather than go back to a reliance on industries that are driving climate change, we have a chance to boost markets and jobs in clean industries.

“Mining thermal coal in the Galilee Basin or building new coal-fired power plants is the opposite of bouncing forward out of this crisis. It would bounce us right back into the midst of our climate change problems.

“Runaway climate change is a disaster for jobs. Anyone who supports investing in more coal and gas has their head in the sands of climate denial. Clean industries are where we will find abundant jobs and economic wealth.

“With so many of Australia’s forests, rivers, wildlife and communities devastated by last summer’s bushfires, it’s time to strengthen our environment laws, not weaken them, to protect the incredible places and animals we all love.

“A strong economy depends on a healthy environment. We can have both by protecting nature and our climate, or neither if we destroy them.”

This week:

  • Westpac announced it would stop financing thermal coal projects by 2030.
  • The Australian Industry Group, which represents more than 60,000 businesses, called for the climate crisis and COVID-19 economic recovery to be tackled together.
  • The Investor Agenda Group, an international coalition of institutional investors and asset managers, said plans that exacerbate climate change would expose investors and national economies to escalating financial, health and social risks in coming years.

ACF Media Enquiries

Journalists with enquiries may contact Josh Meadows on 0439 342 992. For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email action@mail.acf.org.au