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International report shows strong action on climate change will create jobs for the future

10 May 2012 By ACTU

The scare campaign against action on climate change has once again been proved wrong by international research showing up to one million new Australian jobs would be created by positive investment in clean energy, say unions.

Globally unions are calling for increased private and public investment in clean energy technologies in the wake of the new analysis of job creation potential in manufacturing, energy, construction, transport, agriculture, forestry and water sectors.

ACTU President Ged Kearney said the Millennium Institute analysis, commissioned by the International Trade Union Confederation, forecast potential future green jobs growth and found that investment in the clean energy economy was integral to addressing the global unemployment challenge.

"This study backs up what unions have been saying all along: strong action on climate change will be a boon to our key industries, including manufacturing," Ms Kearney said.

"The report convincingly makes the employment case for the clean energy economy and demonstrates how public and private investment can create decent jobs in a low carbon economy.

"The Federal Government's Clean Energy Future package in Australia is an important step in driving the investment in a low carbon economy and the associated job creation.

"Australia is taking action to reduce emissions by putting a price on carbon while implementing complementary policies including the Clean Energy Finance Corporation that will invest $10 billion in new technologies and $1.2 billion to support energy efficiency improvements in manufacturing."

Ms Kearney said the report showed that the path the Federal Government has paved for Australia is important for the future of the economy broadly and particularly for jobs.

"In contrast, Tony Abbott's continual negative attack on climate change is not only harmful to our environment, which is undergoing very real change, but to our economy. This new research blows apart this scare campaign and proves that Australia's economy will not only continue to be strong, but will thrive under the right policy framework.

"But, just as unions have been saying all along, we need to get the industry policy right to maximise the job creation through innovation and investment in clean energy technologies that are manufactured in Australia."

Ms Kearney said the new analysis reiterated ACTU research that found acting on climate change was not inconsistent with job creation. She said the study was the first time economists used the number of jobs that could be directly created as a result of investments as a key indicator to analyse the impact of the clean energy economy in 12 countries and seven industries, including the energy, manufacturing, construction and transport sectors in Australia.

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Name: David Smith, ASU National Secretary
Telephone: 03 9342 1400