An unlikely alliance of business and environment groups have banded together to make a stand on the importance of a cleaner economy.
The group say that beyond the coronavirus pandemic, Australia’s prosperity depends on dealing with long-term challenges like moving towards net zero emissions.
The alliance includes the Australian Industry Group, Business Council of Australia, St Vincent de Paul Society, Property Council of Australia, Australian Conservation Foundation and the Australian Council of Trade Unions.
“Economic recovery efforts can and should contribute to addressing these long term challenges,” they said in a joint statement on Monday.
“Our organisations encourage governments to bolster their jobs and recovery strategies with measures to reduce emissions and accelerate successful energy transitions across all Australia’s regions and economic sectors.”
The group says improving energy efficiency across Australian homes as well as commercial buildings can help lower power bills, cut emissions and improve health and safety during hot summers.
They are urging all levels of government to integrate virus recovery plans with long-term emissions strategies, grid planning, carbon farming development and bushfire recovery.
“Investments will work best with careful design and discussion with regulators, business and the community,” the alliance said.
“We are confident that smart, swift and sustained responses can speed the recovery and put Australia’s future growth on stronger foundations.”
The federal government is eyeing gas projects to help the economy recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, angering environmental groups.
Gas also features heavily in the government’s technology road map discussion paper, in which it is considered a key energy source to back up renewables when the economy transitions from coal.