Mining transport jobs at risk?

By Charles Pauka. Transport and Logistics News, November 25 2014

Photo courtesy of the ABC.

Photo courtesy of the ABC.

New research by Beyond Zero Emissions, referenced by Ross Garnaut at the recent Melbourne Economic Forum, details what it calls “the vast gap between Australian government projections and the realities of trade in a carbon-constrained global economy”.

Announcements from the US, China and India prior to the G20 meeting made clear that international markets are moving away from fossil fuels, including countries that are key importers of Australia’s coal and gas.

“The Australian Government is relying on economic projections that don’t take account of international action on climate change. There will be a significant shortfall – $100 billion annually by 2030, when projected exports of fossil fuels are rejected by an international economy already moving towards clean energy” said Gerard Drew, lead researcher at Beyond Zero Emissions.

“Despite the government’s best attempts to keep climate change off the agenda, the international community is already working towards a cleaner future. Australia is at risk of being economically and financially unprepared for the changes that are coming, if not already taking place.

“Ongoing employment and investment opportunities exist in de-carbonising the economy. They don’t exist in digging up fossil fuels for which there is no market.

“When Australia’s current energy policy goals are put into the context of recommended international targets, annual fossil energy production rises from 4 per cent to 16 per cent of the annual global allowance by 2050. This will not be acceptable to the international community.

“Ignoring climate change in a world moving towards a carbon-constrained economy will impact heavily on Australia’s future prosperity.

“Australia needs to rapidly diversify its economy and embrace the global transition that is underway, or our economy will become as fossilised as the fuels it has depended on,” said Mr Drew.