Regional Australia is Clean Energy Jobs Winner Media Release

May 25, 2009 - 1:00pm

Regional Australia is set to benefit most from Australia’s clean energy jobs and investment boost over the next decade if key national climate change policies are implemented, research from the independent Climate Institute released today shows.

“The good news is that taking action on climate change will create tens of thousands of jobs, many of them in regional Australia, as we shift gears to a less polluting and more efficient economy,” said John Connor, Climate Institute CEO. 

Nationally, $31 billion worth of clean renewable energy investments are underway or are planned, which will create over 26,000 jobs* - the vast majority in regional Australia. These figures refer to real projects and real plans and not predictions from modelling.

“This research shows that 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,” Mr Connor said.  

The report also shows that measures such 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. 

Bulk of projects underway or earmarked are in South West NSW; South-East South Australia; South-West Victoria; South-West Western Australia; South-East and North Queensland and northern Tasmania.  For further details of projects and locations visit the Climate Institute website www.climateinstitute.org.au. 

 “It’s time the polluters and politicians stopped arguing about climate action policies so we can get to work building these projects and their jobs,” said Mr Connor.

The Climate Institute commissioned leading energy sector consultants, McLennan Magasanik Associates (MMA), to assess the potential contribution of renewable energy, such as wind, wave, geothermal, solar and bio-energy power stations, to regional employment in Australia.

The projected job numbers are conservative estimates. They also don’t include employment gains from energy efficiency policies, insulation and expansion of roof top solar and lower carbon traditional energy sources such as gas-fired generation or carbon, capture and storage.   They don’t include a host of other low carbon industrial job potential from bio-plastics through to sustainable water management.

“These clean energy jobs are just the beginning as we put in place stronger policies and as Australian industry invests more in the clean energy and low carbon industries which are the real growth areas for the global economy in the coming months, years and decades.”

*Jobs – refers to direct, indirect and construction jobs.

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