Climate Action an opportunity for Australia.
Independents CAN will champion the enormous economic benefits for Australia of becoming a renewable energy super powered economy and pursuing other transformative actions (e.g. regenerative agriculture, decarbonised transportation sector) required to deliver a net zero emissions economy. These benefits are associated with the opportunities that cost competitive, emission free and large-scale renewable energy generation provide for investment, new industries, a re-invigorated manufacturing sector, employment and exports.
To date governments and media have created a strong public association between climate action and more recently climate inaction, and costs to the economy. That is, we can’t afford to do it or not do it, because of costs. Missing from the discussion has been a recognition of the potential direct economic benefits of climate action.
Australia is the sunniest and windiest developed nation in the world. We also have a range of other competitive advantages when it comes to transitioning our economy to net zero emissions. These include vast areas of suitable land, world-leading research institutions, a skilled workforce and industrial sector, proximity to growing Asian markets and a secure stable society.
Australia can readily develop past the 100% renewable energy generation required to meet domestic consumption and use surplus generation to create renewable energy exports via submarine cables and/or liquid hydrogen tankers to Asia. Not only will this generate export income, it will also help decarbonise the economies of our Asian neighbours. Two multibillion-dollar projects currently being developed one in the Pilbara (Asian Renewable Energy Hub) and the other in the Northern Territory (Sun Cable) attest to such economic opportunities not being just a fantasy concocted by wishful dreamers, but an assessment formed on solid evidence, international market trends, capital flows and Australian project investment.
Despite the promoted narrative around the costs to the economy of climate action there are numerous reputable economic modelling studies that show Australia can pursue a high emission reduction pathway while growing the economy. This economic rationalism is one of the key defining features of Independents CAN’s policy response to the climate crisis. Meeting the challenge of the climate emergency will require Government – private partnerships. Independents CAN believe that with appropriate Government policy settings, co-ordination and targeted investment, Government – private partnerships can collaboratively, and cost effectively build the infrastructure required to create Australia’s renewable energy future.