We are in a climate crisis. The science is clear. We know what needs to be done but our leaders refuse to do it. They are beholden to the fossil fuel industry and refuse to present any vision of the future to Australians. I am sick of waiting. The time for incremental action on climate change was 20 years ago. We need bold, transformative change and we need it now.
Fighting climate change is not just about reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, it means a rework of our economy to be fairer and more sustainable. We are in a unique situation here in Australia to capitalise on the huge windfall of investments in renewable energy. We need to be ready for and encourage investments in renewable technologies and sustainable production methods.
So, how do we do it?
100% Renewable Energy by 2030
The Greens will also set the course for 100% renewables by 2030. We’ll prioritise the construction of the publicly owned transmission network, beginning with a Grid Transformation Fund. We’ll put in place the infrastructure for 100% renewable energy, unleashing over $700 billion in new clean energy generation investments. This would allow us to open up new parts of Australia through ‘renewable energy zones’, not only to run Australia on 100% renewables, but to establish ‘clean energy export hubs’ to export our wind and sunlight to the world.
A Nature Fund
Addressing both the climate and environment emergencies is a core part of our recovery plan. We will establish a Nature Fund, creating 13,000 jobs and training programs in park and forest management, pest and weed control, visitor infrastructure, bushfire management, revegetation, ecological research and monitoring and management to protect threatened species and other wildlife.
Implement a Jobs-Rich Manufacturing Revival
It is time for Australia to make things again. We can rebuild manufacturing in Australia, not as it was but as it could be. The Greens would establish a Manufacturing Australia Fund to modernise and expand Australian manufacturing and support the shift to clean, green manufacturing through multiple green industry programs including re-establishing the Clean Technology Innovation Program, scrapped by Tony Abbott. We’d be building the clean energy revolution right here in our backyard.
The Greens would mandate that all Commonwealth and substantially Commonwealth funded infrastructure would need to procure Australian-made clean and green materials to support Australian manufacturing, grow jobs and develop an Australian green steel, aluminium and cement industry. Given the Greens’ bold commitment to infrastructure investment in publicly-owned housing, transport infrastructure (including high speed rail) and the national electricity grid over the coming decade, this would create a solid pipeline of demand for locally made materials.
Invest in High-Speed Rail and Public Transport
The Greens will invest in a national public transport infrastructure fund, working with state governments to create new rail connections and upgrade the frequency and reliability of existing services. We’d also commit to constructing a fully publicly owned high speed rail connection from Melbourne to Brisbane, helping drive down pollution from air travel and link up our regions and we'll invest annually to make cycling and walking safer and more accessible. These massive projects not only create construction jobs and improve our productivity, but they will also kick start Australia’s green steel industry and help reestablish Australia’s manufacturing sector.
Universal Higher Education (Free Uni & TAFE)
As our economy evolves over time, as it always has, new jobs will emerge. It is important that we give individuals the opportunity to retrain and be prepared for the jobs of the future. No one should be left behind or unemployed as a result of decarbonising our economy. Free university and TAFE education will provide our country with the most productive, intelligent, and specialised workforce in the world. It would usher in a new era of investment and help to stem the tide of students studying overseas where university is already free. For more information on our plan to make higher education free and democratise our university system, head here.
We need to be brave enough to face the challenges of the climate crisis head on. We can usher in a new era of investment in regional jobs, manufacturing, and education. Australia has the foundations to become a renewable energy superpower. Let's get it done.
Click here to read even more about our plan to tackle the climate crisis.