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Barnaby Joyce Is Right About Net Zero Cost

Written by
1 June 2022

“Barnaby Joyce’s observations about the cost of net zero in terms of power, petrol, and grocery prices shows net zero emissions by 2050 is heavily contested among real Australians and must be debated,” said Daniel Wild, Director of Research at the Institute of Public Affairs.

Today on his Facebook page, Barnaby Joyce said “when you pay for your power, you are paying for a 2050 target, when you pay for petrol, you are paying for a 2050 target, when you buy groceries, you are paying for a 2050 target.”

“Real Australians understand that net zero will make no noticeable difference to the global climate, but will impose significant and irreparable economic and humanitarian damage on Australian workers,” said Mr Wild.

Joyce acknowledges that the Australian people will pay for net zero, however 92% of surveyed respondents in a recent IPA poll said they are only willing to personally pay a maximum of $100 a year for Australia to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Just last week the Australian Energy Regulator released its final default market offer for next financial year which will increase household electricity bills by up to 18 per cent. This equates to around $290 per year on an average household electricity bill of $1,600.

“Real Australians in the suburbs and regions are already paying the price for the policy of net zero, which is a policy designed by and for wealthy inner-city elites,” said Mr Wild.

A landmark report released by the Institute of Public Affairs in April 2022, The Economic and Employment Consequences of Net Zero Emissions by 2050 in Australia, shows the real cost of net zero:

  • At a minimum, all coal, gas and oil projects in the construction pipeline must be cancelled to achieve net zero by 2050.
  • $274 billion cost to the Australian economy in forgone direct and indirect economic output, which is the equivalent to 13.5% of Australia’s annual GDP.
  • Over 478,000 new jobs cancelled.
  • North Queensland to be hit hardest, with 125,000 jobs cancelled, which is the equivalent to 25 years’ worth of job creation.
  • Net zero would cost the Hunter region around $12 billion in lost economic output, the equivalent to 20% of gross regional product, and cancel 21,800 jobs which is the equivalent to four years’ worth of job creation.

“We need to have a debate about the cost of net zero to Australians living in the suburbs and regions in terms of their livelihoods, cost of living, and the long-term future of their local communities,” said Mr Wild.

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Daniel Wild

Daniel Wild is the Director of Research at the Institute of Public Affairs

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