Carbon tax to fuel future jobs in Australia

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, February 28, 2011
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Almost 34,000 new jobs could be created in regional Australia by 2030, if the federal government takes strong action on climate change, a climate think tank said on Monday.

Last week, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced a carbon price would be introduced from July 2012, but decisions were yet to be made on what sectors would be included.

The Climate Institute's Clean Energy Jobs in Regional Australia published on Monday found that about 34,000 jobs could be created in regional Australia by 2030 if a price is put on carbon and if clean energy policies are put in place.

The institute said New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria would reap most of the benefits from new investments in clean energy.

"It is absolutely vital that you have a price on pollution, a carbon tax," Institute chief executive John Connor told Australia Associated Press on Monday.

"You also need policies like the renewable energy target and you need skills and industry development."

Connor said there would be costs with moving towards cleaner energy in the future, but the economy would continue to grow, because Australia had enormous amount of energy resources in geothermal, large scale solar, bio-energy hydro, wind and natural gas.

He said by 2030 almost 43 percent of Australia's electricity could be produced from clean energy, up from about 12 percent currently.

Meanwhile, Rural independent Member of Parliament (MP) Tony Windsor said the release of the report reinforced his belief that investment in renewable energy would benefit the whole nation.

Labor Senator Doug Cameron said Labor government wanted to create a modern economy and the jobs of the future by introducing a carbon tax. However, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is still running scare campaigns to oppose the tax.

Climate Institute chief executive officer John Connor said Australia was at the doorway to a clean energy transition that could drive tens of billions of dollars of investment in the power sector as well as the additional jobs.

He said realizing these opportunities for Australia, and regional Australia, will require politicians to make companies responsible for the pollution they create, policies to grow clean energy such as the renewable energy target, plus skills and industry development policies.

Abbott continued to criticize the carbon tax, saying that it will push up electricity and fuel prices and is an unwarranted burden on taxpayers.

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