Prime Minister Scott Morrison has turned his back on energy users and regional communities affected by energy transition with his decision to leave Australia out of the Silesia Agreement on just transition, which has so far been adopted by 45 countries at the COP24 UN Climate Change Conference.
Signatories to the agreement include the EU, UK, most European nations and many other developed and developing nations from around the world, with both progressive and conservative leaders.
The decision of the federal government to continue to resist measures to ensure the future of communities which will be effected by energy transition means it is out of step with international best practice and Queensland, which has recently established a state-based transition authority to manage a just transition for workers in the coal fire power sector.
We need coordinated action to ensure a just transition for workers in the energy sector and the Morrison Government is standing in the way of that to appease its radical right wing.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Assistant Secretary Scott Connolly:
“Workers who are facing an uncertain future as we transition to a renewable energy economy deserve job certainty and security that can only be guaranteed through a just transition.
“The Morrison Government is once again putting ideology ahead of the needs of working people. It is pandering to the far right and ignoring regional communities which face serious challenges if no action is taken to ensure that there are jobs in renewable energy and other industries for current energy sector workers.
“We know from international examples like the German coal industry that this can work. But the Morrison Government is unwilling to lift a finger to help workers in the energy sector.
“We need to change the rules for workers facing an uncertain future in the energy sector. We can ensure that there will be jobs in the future for these workers but the Morrison Government is to captive to the radicals in its ranks to help Australian workers.”