The budget should have been a road to Australia's low-emissions future

14 May 2021

ARTICLE | Professor John Quiggin, UQ School of Economics

Looking at other nations around the world, the path to cutting greenhouse gas emissions seems clear.

First, develop wind and solar energy and battery storage to replace coal- and gas-fired electricity. Then, replace petrol and diesel cars with electric vehicles running off carbon-free sources. Finally, replace traditionally made steel, cement and other industries with low-carbon alternatives.

wind farm on a rolling empty plain
The 2021 May budget has ignored the opportunity to change Australia's green energy landscape. Image by enriquelopezgarre from Pixabay

In this global context, the climate policies announced in Tuesday’s federal budget are a long-odds bet on a radically different approach. In place of the approaches adopted elsewhere, the Morrison government is betting heavily on alternatives that have failed previous tests, such as carbon capture and storage. And it’s blatantly ignoring internationally proven technology, such as electric vehicles.

The government could have followed the lead of our international peers and backed Australia’s clean energy sector to create jobs and stimulate the post-pandemic economy. Instead, it’s sending the nation on a fool’s errand.

Read the full article at UQ School of Economics


John Quiggin

Professor John Quiggin

Follow Professor Quiggin on Twitter