The Abbott Government’s carbon reduction target of 26-28 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030 is a missed opportunity to take genuine action on climate change and create the jobs of the future.

The Federal Government must take real action to reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency and expand our renewable energy sector for Australia’s economy to continue to grow in the coming decades.

Taking action on climate change should not be viewed as merely an economic cost, but also as an opportunity to create new jobs and investment opportunities.

Australian Unions recognise that we must take a measured approach to restructuring to a lower carbon economy to ensure there is an equitable distribution of both the costs and benefits associated with adapting to climate change.

This includes the promotion of clean energy job opportunities through public and private investment in low carbon strategies and technologies.

It also includes assistance to workers, families and households who are affected by the restructure of the economy.

The government must adopt broad and ambitious plans to transform adversely affected regions so that no workers or communities are left behind during the essential effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It is vital that the Federal Government shows leadership on climate change and creates an industry and jobs plan in consultation with unions, business and environmental groups.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Ged Kearney:

“The Abbott Government’s failure to take genuine action on climate change is a failure to take action to create the jobs and industries of the future.”

“The Federal Government must lead the way on climate change to ensure Australia takes advantage of job opportunities in the clean energy industry while providing assistance to low income workers, families and household affected by the restructure of the economy.”

“Australia has an opportunity to place itself at the forefront of the new clean energy industry and gain significant economic and environmental advantages, but if we fail to act we risk being left behind other countries.”