201006

Community Action

Bob Carr was in the Bega Valley as guest speaker at the World Environment Day dinner last week. I was lucky enough to hear him give a talk at the Bega Showground. Mr Carr is clearly a man who has a good understanding of the science of climate change.

The former Premier is well known for his views of population. Since the 1970s the world’s population has doubled. This is putting enormous pressure on our precious planet’s resources, which makes the challenge of reducing greenhouse emissions incredibly difficult. Coupled with political inaction in this country, population growth makes the climate challenge seem almost insurmountable

The message I came away with from Bob Carr’s speech was not to give up in the face of tough odds. Mr Carr was at pains to point out the importance of community action in educating politicians.

If you think CO2 is not a greenhouse gas, or if you think Australia’s contribution to global climate change is so small that we need not bother, then stay at home. If you think that climate change represents a threat, or that solutions present an opportunity, make your voice heard. That was Mr Carr’s message.

Australia must set a price on carbon. We must make the transition away from the energy source of the last century. Whoever wins the next election, our leaders must realise that we are not happy with a mediocre response to climate change. If our politicians let us down we have only ourselves to blame.

Write a letter, speak to a politician, do something. Right now would be a good time.
Matthew Nott

Jobs

A new report commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Australian Council of Trade Unions once again demonstrates the clear association between job creation and emissions reductions for Australia. The report “Creating Jobs-Cutting Pollution” clearly shows that Australia could create more than 770,000 extra jobs by 2030 by taking strong action on climate change.

That figure of 770,000 jobs is a net increase, taking account of job losses in the fossil fuel sector. The jobs represent new “green collar’ jobs, but also new jobs in traditional industries such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing and the services sector.

Even those regions dependant on coal, electricity generation, or heavy industry will benefit from more jobs – but only if we act decisively now, according to the report. The CSIRO has come to an even more positive conclusion, predicting that 2.7 million new jobs will be created in Australia by 2025 if we aim to become carbon neutral by 2050.

Failure to grasp the challenge of climate change will put a brake on Australia’s economic growth and limit the potential for new job creation.

Whilst this information comes from a report from the CSIRO, ACF and ACTU, Clean Energy For Eternity have been harping on about the same conclusion for four years. It doesn’t take a lot of mental arithmetic to work out that renewable energy business will create jobs. Most of those jobs will be created in regional areas.

Eden-Monaro stands to benefit more from a transition to clean energy than just about any other region in Australia. We have the wind, solar and hydroelectric resources to make our region a huge employer of green jobs. That is good news for our regional economy, and it is good news for our children who will be looking for jobs in Eden-Monaro over the next couple of decades.
Matthew Nott