Climate Accord An Undemocratic Stitch-Up

Written by:
9 May 2022
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“Jim Chalmers’ proposed ‘accord’ on climate policy is an elitist stitch-up between the big end of town which is getting wealthy off green subsidies at the expense of the jobs of mainstream Australians,” said Daniel Wild, Director of Research at the Institute of Public Affairs.

Today the Australian Financial Review reported that should Labor win government, Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers would pursue an “accord” on climate and energy policy between government, big business, and big unions, stating: “…if this was the ‘80s, then energy would have been central to the Accord. It’s an Accord-like opportunity.”

“A climate ‘accord’ is nothing more than an elitist stich-up between government, big business, and big unions, that would silence the voices of mainstream Australians and circumvent democratic processes,” Mr Wild said.

“Australians have repeatedly demonstrated their opposition to radical, job destroying climate policies at the ballot box, yet both the Coalition and Labor continue to ignore these democratic outcomes in preference of a small cadre of inner-city elites.” 

“It is the inner-city elites who will profit greatly from green climate policies, and who are now working together to ensure highly contested ideas, such as a net zero emissions by 2050 target, are taken off the table as legitimate topics of debate.”

“This is another example of how the acceptable parameters of debate in our democracy are being narrowed by those at the commanding heights of the major political, economic, and cultural institutions of our society. The walls are closing in on mainstream Australians.” Chalmers’ comments follow a landmark report released by the Institute of Public Affairs, The economic and employment consequences of net zero emissions by 2050 in Australia, which found:

  • 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.
  • Prevention of creation of over 478,000 jobs across Australia.
  • North Queensland and Hunter to be hit hardest, with the prevention of over 125,000 jobs in North Queensland and 22,000 jobs in the Hunter as a result of net zero.

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

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