Labor’s sensible and workable plan to meet Australia’s net zero emissions commitment is a welcome step towards meeting this challenge, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“Australia’s net zero commitment is bipartisan, that means for the first time in a decade we have a chance at real progress on this path.
“Both sides of politics recognise that delivering the modern, high wage economy Australians want means making this transition by investing in new technology, new industries and new jobs.
“Labor’s plan paints a path towards net zero by helping to give businesses the certainty they need to get on with the work they’re already doing and do even more.
“In particular, we welcome the use of the existing Safeguard Mechanism and the Climate Change Authority to set emission budgets.
“It will be important for Labor to work closely with business on the detail, including measures to ensure export exposed jobs aren’t unfairly put at risk by a tightening of the emissions baseline.
“Australia is already on track to meet and beat our 2030 target, so a more ambitious short-term target makes sense. By getting the heavy lifting done earlier with a strong 2030 target we can avoid a steep tail with higher costs and work on closing the technology gap in harder to abate sectors.
“Targets aren’t enough on their own, so it is great to see Labor setting out a plan to get there with a focus on more jobs, more opportunities and stronger regions.
“Plans to upgrade the national electricity grid are a positive step but will need to be done in close consultation with industry to keep energy prices low and competitive.
“Every model agrees that delivering net zero will require investment in and deployment of new technology and processes, so it is critical that both sides of politics lock in the Technology Roadmap targets and deliver certainty.
“At the end of the day, it is business that are already driving this change.
“We stand ready to work with all political leaders to make sure our transition drives the new skills, technology, jobs and investment needed to position the country for the future.
“Reaching net zero emissions by 2050 must be done in a way that harnesses Australia’s abundant natural resources, drives investment in new technologies and delivers a stronger economy with more jobs.”