A plan to rebuild the economy and get Australians back to work suggests up to 76,000 jobs can be created through investments in renewable energy and other industries that tackle climate change.
The Climate Council report relies on modelling by economic advisory firm AlphaBeta which has found up to 15,000 jobs can be created across Australia in large-scale renewable energy farms and 12,000 jobs in ecosystem restoration.
The report, published on July 21, suggests thousands of other jobs could be created in the collection and processing of organic waste, making more energy-efficient homes and buildings and expanding electric vehicle infrastructure.
The plan outlines 12 policy options all levels of government can implement to deliver the jobs over the next three years and rebuild Australia’s economy, after its battering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Australia is going through a dual crisis after the bushfires fuelled by climate change and now experiencing the pandemic,” Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie told AAP.
“We now have an opportunity in our economic recovery to say how are we going to make ourselves as resilient as possible for future shocks and climate change is one of them.”
The plan targets areas hardest hit by bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic with 42 percent of job opportunities identified in regional Australia.
McKenzie said renewable energy projects are a “no brainer” in these parts of the country and could have huge investment potential.
The report suggests one-third of the opportunities require minimal training, to allow people who lost their jobs because of coronavirus to find employment fast.
“We’re targeting people who have lost their jobs and industries who will find it hard to recover,” McKenzie said.
“We’re also trying to find areas where there can be opportunities for people who don’t have much training.”
The plan calls for local, state, and federal government funding as well as business investment to make the jobs a reality.
It suggests the NSW government could accelerate the development of several projects in its renewable energy zone in the central west to create hundreds of jobs in Dubbo and Orange.
AlphaBeta Director Andrew Charlton said with the right policy measures, thousands of jobs could be created in large-scale renewable energy, ecosystem restoration and the collection and processing of organic waste.
Dominica Sanda in Sydney