“Basically a lot of the action for meeting climate goals involves upgrading equipment to emissions-free versions, and bringing forward investment in infrastructure that enables more use of renewable electricity and other zero emissions solutions, and reduces energy waste,” Ms Skarbek said.
There are “shovel-ready” solutions to be deployed in waste management, energy efficiency and power generation to be deployed across industries that could generate new installation and manufacturing jobs, she said, which would deliver a “double win” for the economy.
“Let’s do that in a way that locks in zero-emissions buildings and infrastructure and supply chains, and importantly doesn’t lock out the chance to halve emissions in the next decade.”
Top climate scientists agree that for Australia to meet its Paris Commitment, which is to act consistently with limiting global warming to under 2 degrees, the country must achieve net zero global emissions before 2050.
Chief executive of employer association the Australian Industry Group Innes Willox said “technology adoption and policy action” could be deployed to achieve “both a strong recovery and a lower emissions trajectory for the economy”.
“This could involve technology adoption and policy action. We have raised this potential with federal and state governments and will continue to do so. ” Mr Willox said.
On Tuesday Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers that fellow rich nations must find a way to lead global recovery from the health crisis.
“It must coordinate the lifting of travel, transport and production restrictions, and commit to fiscal actions that will stimulate a rebound in business activity and get people back to work,” he said.
Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Tania Constable said she supported “continued action on climate change, Australia’s participation in the Paris Agreement and a transformation to a low emissions global economy”.
Mr Taylor said the federal government would continue to pursue its “practical and responsible” emissions reduction policies.
“Our commitment is achievable, balanced and responsible, and is part of coordinated global action to deliver a healthy environment for future generations while keeping our economy strong,” he said.
Mike is the climate and energy correspondent for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.