This May's federal budget is a critical opportunity for the Albanese Government to drive down emissions. Here’s why:

A multi-billion dollar climate headache

How our governments choose to spend our public money is a big decision. If managed responsibly, public finance can make our communities and nature thrive. 

But right now, every minute, the Australian Government is handing over $18,588 in public money to fossil fuel industries like coal and gas that drive climate damage like fires, floods and droughts.

Research by the Australia Institute shows that these fossil fuel handouts cost Australians $9.7 billion.¹ 

Currently, Australia has 116 new coal and gas projects in the pipeline, including Woodside's mega-polluting Scarborough project. If all the projects were to go ahead they would almost double our current domestic emissions. And that’s not including any emissions from exporting the coal and gas overseas!

Already we are the world’s biggest exporters of coal and gas. In fact, Australia's fossil fuel exports contribute to 5% of global emissions. No matter where polluting fuels like coal and gas are burnt, it drives climate impacts here and across the world. 

If we are to slash pollution now for a safe climate future, we cannot afford to keep squandering public money on digging, expanding, exporting and burning coal and gas

Gas is mainly made up of methane – a toxic and dense greenhouse gas that is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Just like coal, mining and burning gas drives climate damage.

Last year thousands of people in the ACF community called on the Australian Government to end handouts for international coal and gas handouts, then the government listened and did what we asked.

Now in the leadup to May's federal budget, let's call on our government to end the billions of dollars of handouts for coal and gas at home. Sign the petition.

It’s a simple equation: ramping up renewables can only slash climate pollution if coal and gas are phased out.

That’s why the federal budget is critical. It’s our new government’s first big chance to stop spending public money on climate-wrecking industries and invest more in renewables so that we keep slashing pollution.

In just five minutes, about the same time it takes to read this blog, the fossil fuel industry has received more money in subsidies alone than the average Australian earns in a year.

Australia has world-leading climate and energy solutions

Australia is uniquely placed to make the shift away from fossil fuels to renewables, and the benefits extend beyond slashing pollution for a safer climate.

We are the sunniest and windiest country in the world, have an abundance of the critical minerals needed to make renewable energy and have a skilled ready-to-go workforce that can power new renewable industries. At the same time, big global markets with which we have strong trade relationships, like Japan and Korea, are looking to decarbonise rapidly. Australia can provide them with the renewable-powered goods and services they need.

Instead of funding fossil fuels, our governments can invest in, and generate billions of dollars from, renewable exports like:

  • Australian-made batteries to store renewable energy
  • Critical minerals needed for renewable energy, like lithium
  • High-value metals made using renewable energy, like steel and aluminium (green metals)
  • Education and training needed to work in renewables
  • Services like engineering needed for renewables transitions across the world
  • Green hydrogen – which is the best way to store renewables energy for later use and transport it overseas

Take our renewable exports quiz to learn more!

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Independent research commissioned by environment organisations, unions and business groups found that these renewable exports could create 395,000 new jobs in Australia and add $89 billion to our economy by 2040.³

But if we don’t act now, we’ll miss out. Despite our many advantages, other countries are moving quickly to establish themselves as renewable-powered export leaders and corner the market.

The Albanese Government must seize the moment and invest now to make Australia a renewables exports leader.

We can’t afford to keep handing over public money to polluting industries that drive climate damage like fires, floods and droughts. Switching to renewable exports is the climate incredible solution that will drive down emissions and future-proof our economy.

Let’s raise our voices

In the leadup to the budget, sign the petition and call on our Prime Minister, Energy Minister and Environment Minister to end coal and gas in Australia to ramp up climate action.

This decade is crucial for climate action, and we the people need to keep raising our voices and demand our government steps up – just like we did at the 2022 federal election.

Every signature helps build a stronger case for when we deliver the petition. Together we can urge our government to use public money responsibly, and drive down emissions so we protect our communities and wildlife for generations to come.

¹ The Australia Institue: ‘Fossil fuel subsidies in Australia
² ABC News: ‘Anthony Albanese acceptance speech
³ Australian Conservation Foundation: ‘Sunshot report

Elizabeth Sullivan

Climate Campaigner – Exports