Send our sunshine around the world

Australia can become a global clean energy superpower in the next decade by replacing coal, gas and uranium exports and use with renewable energy.

We have plentiful sun and wind. A valuable export industry that secures and creates great jobs through manufactured products like green hydrogen, steel and aluminium is within our reach.

The challenge

Mining, burning and exporting coal, oil and gas is the single biggest cause of climate damage. Demand for coal and gas exports will decline as Australia’s major trading partners and allies aim for net zero emissions.

  • This year, the Group of Seven (G7) leaders — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and the European Union — committed to a “green revolution” to create jobs, cut emissions and limit global temperature rise to 1.5 °C. The G7 committed to halving emissions by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
  • China has pledged to achieve net zero by 2060; Japan and South Korea by 2050.
  • New Zealand has legislated its target to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects demand for thermal coal, oil and gas to plummet under a net zero emissions future, with projections showing coal declining by 90%, oil by 75% and gas by 55% before 2050 (compared to 2020). Australia is one of the world’s largest exporters of polluting coal and gas.

The opportunity

  • Develop new clean export industries — which could include green aluminium and steel, renewable hydrogen and ammonia or exporting renewable energy directly via undersea cables — as these all provide substantial future export opportunities for Australia as the world transitions to net zero emissions.
  • Many new clean export industries could be located in Australia’s existing industrial zones. This will create economic opportunities, particularly for regions currently reliant on coal and gas.

How to make the change

  • Australia can become a global clean energy superpower in the next decade by replacing coal, gas and uranium with renewable energy. With world-leading solar and wind resources and access to critical minerals like lithium and copper, Australia has a unique opportunity to build a future based on clean, green exports.

Tests of success

  • Australia, led by government and supported by business, has a roadmap with targets, policies and investments to decarbonise our export economy away from polluting coal, gas and uranium to clean, renewable energy over the next decade.
  • The Australian government establishes a National Just Transition Authority to coordinate economic diversification for regions currently reliant on jobs in coal and gas, like Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, New South Wales Hunter Valley and Central Queensland’s Gladstone Region.
  • Government and business implement free, prior, and informed consent principles by Traditional Owners for all major clean export infrastructure projects so that First Nations Peoples benefit from Australia becoming a clean energy superpower.


  • Australia replaces coal and gas exports, which are equivalent to 3.6% of global emissions, with clean exports. ¹
  • Future-proof Australia’s economy and industries, attracting around $25 billion annually in private investment and adding 1% to 2% to GDP through zero carbon projects. ²
  • Create over 100,000 direct jobs in the renewable energy led recovery. ³
  • By creating a National Just Transition Authority, impacted communities are supported with community-based planning, investment in worker reskilling, retraining and redeployment, and investment in economic diversification.

Case study

South Australia’s plans to reach 500% renewable energy and develop a world-class renewable hydrogen industry

South Australia is a world leader in renewable energy. At 60% solar and wind power, the state has one of the highest shares of renewable energy. It is home to one of the world’s biggest batteries — the Tesla and Neoen Hornsdale Power Reserve — and boasts Australia’s largest ‘virtual power plant’ connecting thousands of residential solar and battery systems, a project that benefits lowincome households, energy retailers and the electricity grid.

South Australia has also outlined ambitions to become a clean energy export superpower and provided $17 million in grants and $25 million in loans to four renewable hydrogen projects. The state’s five-year climate action plan set new goals to grow its renewable energy and hydrogen industries and electrify the state’s transport system.

These include: 100% renewable energy by 2030; 500% renewable energy by 2050; 50% cut in climate pollution by 2030; and, net zero emissions by 2050.