Towards a Green New Deal: Economic stimulus that will be good for the planet Media Release

Dec 02, 2008 - 10:56am

The Federal Government can drive a massive increase in green jobs by combining focused economic stimulus with climate policies like a strong 2020 carbon pollution reduction target, a broad coalition of social, union, environment and economic groups said today.

The members of the Southern Cross Climate Coalition – the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Australian Council of Social Service and the Climate Institute – have joined forces with the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, the Property Council of Australia and the Australian Green Infrastructure Council to release a statement calling on the government to:

  • Establish a major nationwide retrofitting program and increase incentives to make existing residential, commercial and public buildings more energy and water efficient.
  • Invest in infrastructure assets that reduce our carbon footprint and improve natural and social capital – focusing on public transport, expanded rail networks for freight, renewable and clean energy and sustainable water infrastructure.
  • Make green jobs a centrepiece of economic and industry policy, with a strong 2020 pollution reduction target, ambitious environmental policies to create demand for green products and services, and coordinated plans to grow key green industries.

“To move to a low carbon economy that promotes green industries and green jobs, Australia needs a strong 2020 target to cut our emissions,” said ACF Executive Director Don Henry.

"The economic downturn provides an opportunity to invest in the creation of new green jobs while making significant inroads to reducing carbon emissions as part of an overall stimulus package,” said ACTU President Sharan Burrow.

The ACTU and ACF report Green Gold Rush, released in October, showed Australia could generate multi-billion dollar export opportunities and up to a million green collar jobs by 2030 by getting behind green industries like renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable water industries, biomaterials, green buildings and waste recycling.

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