The Australian Industry Group, which represents over 60,000 businesses in the country, wants recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and decrease of greenhouse gas emissions to be addressed in tandem, not necessarily individually.
AIG chief executive officer Innes Wilox has all but insisted the issues be addressed together, as Australia’s attempt to bounce back from the spread of the virus – and meet net-zero emissions by 2050 – continue.
“There’s a lot that we can do to rebuild stronger and cleaner,” Willox said in a statement.
“The need is urgent. Covid-19 and climate are bigger than any economic challenge we’ve faced in the last century.
“The path we choose in the coming months will have significant ramifications for our global economy and generations to come.
“There is immense scope for reform and investment to support that transition and getting started during the crisis will contribute to faster recovery.
Smart Energy Council
Smart Energy Council CEO John Grimes, meanwhile, has effectively echoed Willox’s sentiment.
“This is Australia’s moment to modernise and grow the economy, create hundreds of thousands of new future-proof jobs and position Australia as a global renewable energy superpower,” he added.
Clean Energy Council
The Clean Energy Council has estimated 50,000 jobs could be created, if governments supported green policies and related regulation.
“This isn’t about a handout for industry when government is directing scarce taxpayer funding to other essential services and areas,” said CEC CEO Kane Thornton.
“There is an enormous appetite for private investment in clean energy that can be unlocked through smart regulatory reform, sensible energy policy and investment in the grid and energy storage.”
Australian prime minister Scott Morriso and New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, meanwhile, are discussing the possible implementation of a ‘travel bubble’ between the two countries.
Australia-New Zealand ‘travel bubble’
“I wouldn’t say it would be in the very, very near short term,” said Ardern this week.
“Don’t expect this to happen in a couple of weeks’ time. We need to make sure we are locking in the gains all New Zealanders have helped us achieve and make sure we have health precautions in place.”