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Bipartisan Commitment To Coal Must Be Backed By Action

Written by
19 April 2022

“The bipartisan commitment to future coal mines is a welcome development for Australia’s future, but it must be backed by tangible policy commitments such as slashing red tape and scrapping net zero,” said Daniel Wild, Director of Research at the Institute of Public Affairs.

With the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition committing to the development of new coal mines, now is the time for both parties to abandon their commitment to a policy of net zero emissions by 2050.

“Scrapping net zero is the single most important initiative which would secure the development of new coal projects, creating thousands of jobs, and securing Australia’s energy supply and defence capability in an increasingly hostile world,” said Mr Wild.

“The commitment of both major parties to the development of new coal mines means little in the absence of policies to enable new mines to go ahead, such as slashing red tape and scrapping the commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.”

Recent research and analysis by the IPA identified that a policy of net zero emissions by 2050 would place up to 653,600 jobs at risk across Australia, with the majority of those jobs located in the mining, manufacturing, and agricultural sectors.

The research also identified that the effects will be most severely felt in key battleground electorates. Up to 25% of jobs in Flynn (around 16,000 jobs), 22% of jobs in Maranoa (around 14,000 jobs), 17% of jobs in Capricornia (around 10,000 jobs), and 13% of jobs in Dawson (around 9,100 jobs) are being put at risk by the net zero emissions by 2050 target.

“Net zero policies present an existential threat to the Australian way of life and are predicated on highly contested science. Yet this fringe policy has been adopted by all major parties in the name of political expediency,” said Mr Wild.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the growing uncertainty in the Asia-Pacific region has brought home the reality that domestic energy sovereignty is mission critical to Australia’s national defence.”

The IPA’s research on the impact of net zero emissions by 2050 can be found here and here.

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Daniel Wild

Daniel Wild is the Deputy Executive Director at the Institute of Public Affairs

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