The NSW Government has announced its $750 million Net Zero Industry and Innovation program to support businesses around the state in capitalising on economic opportunities in the transition to zero emissions.
The program will provide grants for equipment upgrades, technology development and setting up new clean industries such as green hydrogen.
Climate Council spokesperson and economist, Nicki Hutley, said, “NSW industrial hubs like Port Kembla and the Hunter have incredible potential to be global clean industry leaders, with the right mix of skills, infrastructure and clean energy potential.
“They need policy support and funding to adapt to a world where Australia’s major trading partners are moving towards net zero emissions, and demand for low-carbon products is growing.
“Today’s announcement is a welcome move to help businesses support and grow jobs in industries such as manufacturing, and employ new workers in a changing global market.
“But it must be implemented carefully to track emissions reductions and business benefits, and the focus must be on a genuine transition to clean industry rather than propping up the role of fossil fuels.”
The Climate Council said that while all Australian states and territories have adopted a target of net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, the Federal Government has yet to adopt a national net zero emissions target, and still plans to spend public money on new gas projects.
“The Federal Government’s reluctance to commit to a net zero target is a growing economic risk for Australia. It should follow the lead of states and territories, and unlock the economic and job creation benefits of climate action,” Ms Hutley said.
The Climate Council’s Clean Jobs Plan outlines how 76,000 jobs can be created in the short term, while setting Australia up for the future and tackling long-term problems like climate change.