The Australian Conservation Foundation has welcomed the Albanese government’s announcement of a National Net Zero Authority to coordinate Australia’s clean energy transformation.
“This is an essential step in Australia’s energy transformation,” said CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.
“A coordinated and well-planned transition is needed to make sure communities, workers and the economy enjoy the benefits of this inevitable transformation.
“It will be important for the new authority to have regulatory power, independence and financial sustainability, and to include representation from industry, unions and affected communities, including civil society and First Nations representatives.
“It will also be important that the National Net Zero Authority oversees the transition away from fossil fuel exports, towards clean exports, not only power station closures. This is where the big jobs, manufacturing and emissions reduction opportunities are.
“If the clean energy revolution is managed badly it will result in a lot of damage to nature, so the authority must make sure the transition is done in a way that’s good for nature.
“A transition that allows communities to help lead the way to a future beyond coal and gas will be a faster and more effective transition – and that’s better for our climate.
“Communities will look to this authority to support, coordinate and complement existing state and regional transition planning processes, starting with the regions experiencing closures of coal-fired power stations.
“In recent months we’ve been big announcements in Europe and north America relating to the global race to reap the jobs, climate and economic benefits of becoming a clean energy superpower. This authority is essential to make sure Australia is a competitor in the global clean energy transformation.
“It will be important for the authority to deliver and administer labour adjustment packages and policies so energy workers have access to good quality, secure and safe jobs.”