Aussie Climate Minister: 600,000 Workers are Required for the Green Transition

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Essay by Eric Worrall

Australia’s energy and environment minister Chris Bowen has revealed his vision for an Australian renewable superpower which creates lots of well paid green jobs.

Push to cut emissions by 43pc will need an ‘enormous new workforce’

Jacob Greber Senior correspondent
Aug 23, 2022 – 4.41pm

The Albanese government’s push to cut emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 will unleash an employment demand wave that will severely test the nation’s ability to train and source offshore workers.

A “mini jobs summit” in Parliament House in Canberra with 70 to 80 green groups, think tanks, industry lobbies and unions organised by Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen ahead of next week’s national jobs summit heard a series of calls for the government to manage the transition.

Labor is particularly eager to emphasise the potential upside of its climate change agenda, which Mr Bowen said could generate more than 600,000 jobs by 2030.

“We’re going to need an enormous new workforce to address issues around sovereign capability and manufacturing, and reducing our reliance on vulnerable supply chains, and make sure the geographic dispersal of that workforce is done the right way.

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Energy and Environment Minister Chris Bowen explaining how easy it is to store electricity.

Bowen’s message is an appeal to people who yearn for a return to Australia’s manufacturing golden age, which peaked in the late 1950s, before greedy government tax grabs locked in a long-term decline. The introduction of capital gains tax in 1985, and the beginning of Australia’s high cost green energy obsession in the 90s possibly dealt the death blow to an already weakened industry.

Australian Historical Tax Rate – share of GDP taken as tax by the Australian Government. Source Australian Government.
Australia’s manufacturing decline. Source Australian Government.

As Western taxes and heavy handed economic meddling soared in the latter half of the 20th century, Asia presented an irresistible lure to manufacturers, by providing a predictable, low tax, low cost business environment. Taxes stayed below 21% or below in China’s case, throughout the entire period that Australian energy costs and taxes soared. Most manufacturers had no choice, they had to follow the money or perish at the hands of their Asian competitors.

The solution to Australia’s economic woes is obvious. But Bowen doesn’t appear to get any of this, perhaps because for his entire life he has been a left wing activist, and has no experience of running a business. Bowen doesn’t appear to understand that government money is rarely a path to national prosperity – success stories like the spinoff benefits of the Apollo programme are the exception rather than the norm. Low taxes and predictable costs were and are the keystones of the Asian miracle.

In Chris Bowen’s fantasy world we really can store electricity like water, high tax high cost Australia can out compete China at manufacturing, on the back of expensive, unreliable green energy, with a little government help, it really is worth training people long before the jobs are ready, and hundreds of thousands of well paid workers will be required in the green energy factories of the future.

Sadly, millions of Australians desperately want to believe in Bowen’s fairy tale.

If you are interested on more background on the impact of taxes on manufacturing, the Asian Miracle, and why government meddling doesn’t work, The Trillion Pound Horror Story is an excellent documentary which delves into these issues. The same people also produced The Great Global Warming Swindle.

via Watts Up With That?

August 24, 2022