The release of a report planning for the end of coal by the right-leaning Blueprint Institute shows that all sides of politics were now calling for a managed transition out of coal, Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP said.
“The time of coal is over and the time for clean energy has begun,” Mr Bandt said. “When even conservative think tanks are putting forward proposals to leave coal, you can tell this transition is unstoppable.
“A safe climate requires us to get out of coal by 2030, but how we do it matters. Germany was able to transition out of coal without a single worker forcibly losing their job, but a bad approach could put thousands out of work and see a few coal barons get massive taxpayer-funded payouts.
“We have to manage coal closures to look after workers and communities while ensuring a reliable energy system. If we leave it to the corporate boardrooms of coal companies, they will push for the lowest cost option and put profits ahead of the community.
“The Greens prefer a regulated closure of coal plants overseen by a national transition authority, but we’re up for a discussion about the best way to manage the change.
“The Greens welcome a discussion about a just transition out of coal, because by continuing to pretend fossil fuel use will continue for decades, the Coalition government and Labor Party are throwing coal communities on the scrapheap.
“In Australia, we have seen transition done badly, and we must avoid that with coal communities. In some previous industry closures without government transition support, only a third of the workforce found secure work, a third ended up in precarious insecure work and the last third never found ongoing employment ever again.
“Australia owes coal workers and communities a debt of thanks for helping power our country up to this point, and we owe them a planned transition out of coal with secure jobs in other industries.”