A report has emerged claiming that if Australia were to adopt a net-zero emissions policy, it could spark a $63 billion investment boom in the renewable energy and manufacturing sectors and create a significant amount of jobs.
The report comes from the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), who commissioned Energetics for the report, and says that if the Australian government were to adopt a net zero emissions framework, the results would see an additional $63 billion worth of investment over the next five years.
The IGCC is an investment group representing Australian and New Zealand based investors that are conscious of their investment’s impact on the environment. The IGCC says that more than $2 trillion worth of funds are now being managed by the group.
That policy framework would aim to steer Australia toward net zero emissions by 2050, with a predicted hundreds of billions of dollars invested into a number of sectors by the middle of the century.
If the framework were to be adopted, in the coming five years Australia would see an additional $15 billion invested in manufacturing, $6 billion in transport infrastructure and charging networks, and a $3 billion boost in hydrogen production, research and development.
The report states that a major investment worth more than $33 billion would be funnelled toward carbon sequestration – otherwise known as carbon capture or farming techniques – that would also look to regenerate previously cleared land with tree planting.
Authors of the report state that by 2050, this would amount to investments worth $385 billion into the generation of carbon-neutral energy production, $350 into hydrogen, $104 toward transport infrastructure and $102 billion for carbon sequestration.
The IGCC warns that if the government fails to adopt the framework, it risks losing more than $43 billion worth of investment in the coming five years, which would balloon out to $250 billion of lost investment by 2050. Authors reminded readers that more than 50% of Australia’s major trading partners have previously implemented net zero emissions goals by 2050.
The report says that there is “little upside in business as usual,” stating that there will be, “by 2050, long investment opportunities [lost] around -$265 billion compared to a scenario with clear long-term policies and market signals supporting net zero emissions in place.”
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Erwin Jackson, Director of Policy at the IGCC has said that the report shows “that the investment opportunities extend well beyond just the renewables industry.”
“Renewables are the backbone of the transition, but there are massive opportunities in other sectors such as manufacturing, restoring the land, and electrification of transport.”
“Put bluntly, capital is global and it wants to invest in climate change solutions because they see it as delivering more in their long term investments,” Mr Jackson continued to explain. “They’re going to invest more in countries that have durable, credible policies to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.”
Chief Executive of the Carbon Market Institute, John Connor has said that Australia risks creating an economy that is well “below capacity and it needs a new direction.”
“We can either coast off the cliff into a hothouse of economic and climate disaster, or we can turn a corner towards an orderly transition and the opportunities that are there,” he said.
The Australian government has previously rejected calls for a net zero emissions target, with Scott Morrison instead targeting new technologies like energy storage, low carbon-intensive steel and aluminum manufacturing, as well as carbon capture technology to reduce overall emissions.