Clean energy projects could get Aussie economy back on track: report

Source: Xinhua| 2020-07-21 17:12:45|Editor: huaxia

SYDNEY, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Investment in clean energy and ecosystem restoration could help Australia kick-start its COVID-19 economic recovery, according to a report released on Tuesday by environmental organization the Climate Council.

The report was made in conjunction with economic consultancy firm Alpha-Beta and proposes several projects with the potential to create 76,000 jobs, through investment in renewable energy and other industries which tackle climate change.

By putting those affected by COVID-19 to work on renewable infrastructure projects, such as solar and wind farms, or on ecosystem restoration projects, Australia could see the dual benefit of a faster economic recovery and long term environmental sustainability, the report said.

"We're making targeted decisions, investment and implementing policies at the moment that are getting Australians back to work - but we've got a range of different problems that are not very far over the horizon," Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie told Xinhua.

"We need to make sure that we're tackling climate change, but also that we're investing in the new industries of the 21st century, like renewable energy, like hydrogen, and that we're able to set ourselves up for a more resilient economy for the future."

A focus was placed on vulnerable regions, outside of major cities, which already have seen the tangible economic impact of climate change in the form of floods and wildfire disasters.

Australia's recent bushfire disaster was identified in the report as a key contributor to economic hardship across a number of remote areas in Australia, which McKenzie said are ideally placed for large scale projects.

"Landscape restoration for instance, which absorbs carbon into landscapes, and large scale renewable energy are both excellent big ticket items for regional Australia," McKenzie said.

Other projects proposed include expanding organic waste collection and processing, electric vehicle infrastructure development and the retrofitting of private and public buildings to make them more energy efficient.

Around one third of the jobs proposed would require minimal training, while 70 percent are in construction and administrative, support and logistics services - sectors which have seen major job losses due to the pandemic.

McKenzie hopes the report will act as a blueprint for all levels of government to maximize job creation as well as the value of public and private investment in Australia now, and into the future. Enditem