Coal miners, farmers, and steel and iron workers hold the majority of the 653,600 jobs which could be destroyed by the adoption of a net zero emissions target in Australia, according to new research released today by free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.
“Net zero emissions means net zero jobs,” said Daniel Wild, Director of Research at the Institute of Public Affairs and co-author of the report, Net Zero Jobs: An analysis of the employment impact of a net zero emissions target in Australia.
The heaviest job losses would occur in the agricultural (306,200 jobs), heavy manufacturing (74,100), electricity supply (64,100), and coal mining (62,000) industries.
“A net zero emissions target would be a carbon tax by stealth.”
At a press conference at Parliament House on 20 January 2020, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said people that promised net zero emissions “can’t look Australians in the eye and tell them what it will mean for their electricity prices, what it will mean for their jobs.”
“Job losses of this scale will unleash a humanitarian and social disaster which could dwarf the impact of the coronavirus lockdowns,” said Mr Wild.
The report also analyses which electorates would be most exposed to jobs losses, and finds 17 of the top 20 electorates with the highest proportion of jobs at risk from a net zero emissions target are held by the Coalition. Six of the top 10 electorates with jobs at risk are held by the members of the National Party Room.
Twelve of the bottom 20 electorates with the lowest proportion of jobs at risk from a net zero emissions target are also held by the Coalition.
73% of the seats in federal parliament held by the Nationals are ‘at risk’ seats, compared with just 10% of seats held by the Liberals, and 3% of seats held by the Labor Party.
“A net zero emissions target would be an act of economic and social vandalism against the working men and women of Australia whose jobs are being offered up as a sacrifice so the Coalition can hold a handful of inner-city, green-tinged electorates.”
“There is an inherent tension within the Coalition as it holds seats in parliament representing both those who are most and least affected by a net zero emissions policy in terms of their jobs,” said Mr Wild.
The report also finds that the so-called green jobs of the future that Australians were promised have not been delivered. Specifically, for every one job created in ‘renewable activities’ since 2010, five manufacturing jobs have been destroyed.