In the midst of a recession and global financial crisis any piece of good news, you would have thought, would be welcomed.
Not so from the Minerals Council who in recent days have been trying desperately to find dark linings to paint on some otherwise quite silver clouds.
Here is the good news they don’t want to you hear. The coal mining sector will grow strongly with or without an emissions trading scheme in place.
According the workers’ own Union the CFMEU, there will be 52,500 jobs in Queensland mining in 2030 under the Rudd Government ETS, an increase of over 120% from the jobs number in 2006 to 07.
There will be no actual jobs losses — there will be jobs growth.
But wait there’s more unpalatable good news — addressing climate is actually good for the economy and can create tens of thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars of investments.
Research we commissioned from energy sector consultants MMA, shows that there are $32 billion worth of investments set to create more than 26,000 jobs — on the table now from business.
These figures are not a result of modelling, but actual proposals that have been announced and are underway now or are in the pipeline. No smoke and mirrors here. Locations and details can be viewed on our website using an interactive map.
The emissions trading scheme is one of the policy levers in the toolkit which will allow regional communities to capitalise on their comparative advantages and grow local industries and jobs.
If climate change and renewable energy legislation passes through Federal Parliament without being weakened it will help drive the industrial shift that can put Australia at the front of a global renewable energy boom which already employs more people worldwide than those directly employed in oil and gas.
The MMA report also shows that measures such as a requirement that 20% of energy comes from renewable sources by 2020, the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and the Budget’s Clean Energy Initiative can also build almost five times the energy capacity of the iconic Snowy Hydro scheme.
These clean energy jobs are just the beginning. As we put in place stronger policies and as Australian industry invests more in clean energy and low carbon industries these will become the real growth areas for the global economy in the coming months, years and decades.