Paris Agreement a step forward, but Australia still behind

The Australian Council of Trade Unions today welcomed Australia signing the Paris Agreement, but warned the Federal Government lacks a comprehensive approach to climate change or a plan for industry adjustment and jobs.

Unless decisive action is taken to drive long-term change in the way we produce and use energy, our pollution levels will continue to rise and we will end up with an uncompetitive energy sector.

Taking action to reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency, expand renewable energy capacity, and rapidly develop low carbon technologies while creating jobs, is essential for continuing sustained economic growth globally and in Australia.

An emissions trading scheme is recognised as the best and most efficient way to reduce emissions. Unfortunately the federal government persists with a policy that Malcolm Turnbull himself does not believe in.

We urgently require a plan for Just Transition to a clean, low carbon economy, which provides security and certainty for workers, their families and communities.

We need a plan which creates good quality jobs in the new economy. At the same time, we must ensure that workers that are transitioning into other sectors / industries receive the help and support they need including access to retraining, industry redeployment, adequate redundancy payments, and relocation and travel assistance.

ACTU President Ged Kearney said: “The ACTU welcomes Australia signing the Paris Agreement, but notes that Australia lacks a comprehensive and meaningful way of achieving the required emissions reductions and currently has no plan for a Just Transition for workers affected by the changing economy.”

“As we transition to a cleaner, low carbon economy, it is important that workers affected by that change, their families and communities, are supported to find high quality jobs.”

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