Thousands of ‘clean jobs’ could tackle COVID-19 unemployment slump

Thousands of ‘clean jobs’ could tackle COVID-19 unemployment slump

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“Crises can be an opportunity – if there is an enormous amount of taxpayer money being spent, how can we spend that money to get a second dividend for the taxpayer and solve some of our biggest long-term challenges like climate change?” Dr Charlton said.

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The modelling finds 15,000 jobs could be created in installing large-scale renewable energy, such as solar and wind farms. Some 12,000 jobs could be created in ecosystem restoration and another 12,000 jobs in public transport construction.

Seventy per cent of these proposed jobs are in construction and administrative services, sectors that have already lost 80,000 jobs to the pandemic, the research says.

Thousands of other jobs could be created in the collection and processing of organic waste, making homes and public buildings more energy efficient, and green hydrogen (where hydrogen fuel is created using a renewable power source).

The report considers large-scale renewable energy projects in Gippsland as potential major job providers, saying investment in these projects would spur the region’s transition away from the coal industry.

“We are incredibly reliant on brown coal, but we have a huge number of people who are expert in energy systems,” said Chris Barfoot, from Latrobe Community Power.

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“Everyone has a COVID rebuild plan but this one has double benefits for jobs and the environment.”

Analysis of the nation’s COVID-19 economic response, published by the Energy Policy Tracker, has found that Australian governments have funnelled four times more financial support into the fossil fuel sector than they have allocated to clean energy.