The Business Council of Australia is today releasing a blueprint to achieve net-zero emissions and position Australia to reap an economic dividend of $890 billion and 195,000 jobs over the next 50 years.
The plan would accelerate emissions reduction and seize the first mover advantage, meaning on average Australians would be $5,000 better off per year, and those in the regions would gain the biggest economic benefit.
“The purpose of our work is to move forward, not engage in an endless debate about issues the nation and the world has moved past,” Business Council President Tim Reed said.
“Our biggest trading partners are already making this transition and Australian businesses are taking action, as are global capital markets.
“By using the existing policy building blocks, we’re presenting an ambitious but achievable plan to manage the economic and technology transition, reducing emissions and leaving Australians better off.
“By creating an independent body to advise on 10-year emissions budgets, coordination action across government, business and regulators and locking in a robust offsets market to manage hard to abate sectors, Australia can afford to be more ambitious.
“With an enhanced Safeguard Mechanism we can send clear signals to the market, drive investment and deliver more jobs and stronger regions, while still protecting jobs from carbon leakage.
“Preparing for the future means Australia must be more ambitious in the short term, and we can be because we’re already on track to meet our interim targets, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“We believe Australia can achieve a more ambitious 2030 emissions reduction target of between 46 to 50 per cent below 2005 levels.
“Setting a more ambitious interim target now will drive new investment and bring forward action in sectors such as electricity where we can deploy commercially viable technology at scale. Of course not all sectors will be in a position to decarbonise at the same pace, and our plan allows for this accelerating early action in sectors where commercially viable technology exists today.
“Just as NSW has shown, a credible investment driven plan makes a more ambitious interim target achievable.
“The best thing we can do for workers and for regional communities is to avoid playing costly and damaging catchup with a plan to prepare for inevitable change.
“While the heavy lifting is being done early to reduce emissions and avoid a steep tail with higher costs, we can work on closing the technology gap in harder to abate sectors where commercially viable solutions don’t currently exist.
“Early action puts us in the box seat to take advantage of our world class skills, abundant resources and proximity to markets to secure existing jobs and create new ones.
“Reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 must be done in a way that harnesses Australia’s abundant natural resources to boost exports, drives investment in new technologies and delivers a stronger economy with more jobs.”
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