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  • Ellis Gelios

Independent think tank, Beyond Zero Emissions, calls for Australia to produce world’s clean technology future

Beth Mitchell, the Head of Engagement for Beyond Zero Emissions, recently appeared on the Country Viewpoint program to discuss the details behind the latest clean technology push her organisation is rallying behind.

Image credit: Beyond Zero Emissions official Facebook page

Mitchell emphasised that achieving net zero through a zero-emission economy formed part of the objective to bolster Australia's manufacturing landscape, particularly in regional Australia.

"The key technologies that we looked at are really the ones that we need to drive our economy towards a zero emission economy and achieve our net zero target - we looked at and did a deep dive into solar, wind, batteries, heat pumps and commercial electric vehicles and really looked at what were the opportunities for Australia to build components, or the entirety, of some of those technologies right here in Australia," Mitchell said.

"As you know, we have a global economy that's decarbonising.

"There's a huge demand for these key technologies and we really want to see regional Australia have an opportunity to move from fossil fuel-based economies towards a clean economy, so that they can capture those jobs, it's a great opportunity for us to revitalise the communities and bring new jobs, new opportunities to young people in regional Australia."

Mitchell also commented on Australian farmers in regional areas opposing clean energy infrastructure builds on their farmlands and properties.

"We've looked at this in some of our work, around making sure that community consultation is done appropriately and to ensure that the needs and the concerns of regional Australia are taken into account and that also includes the concerns of First Nations communities, whose land these works will also go through," Mitchell said.

"I think it's about really taking a planned approach, we look at a lot of the development for this happening in large industrial regions in Australia - that doesn't negate of course, the energy needs to travel across land to get to these regions, I think at the heart of it is really clear consultation, really clear benefit sharing models to ensure that regional Australia can take advantage of what's happening.

"I think it's also key that regional Australia sees the benefits from the energy transition and that's part of what we're looking at really, where can the jobs go and where can the opportunities go? So that's what we're really keen to highlight through this work."

Mitchell also expressed her fears for Australian manufacturing declining due to what she described as a number of different factors.

"I think what we've seen is a decline in our manufacturing over years and in recent times with global events, obviously COVID-19, but also some insecurities in global supply chains through conflict," Mitchell said. 

"We've seen some disruption to supply chains that we actually need, part of making things here in Australia is to bring back the capability onshore to diversify our economy so that we're able to produce the things that we need into the future.

"Now, they could be electric vehicles or air conditioning systems, batteries, solar and wind but I think growing that manufacturing capability here is really key to our long-term economic future."


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