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JobKiller: Australian climate inaction puts 20,000 jobs in NSW at risk from carbon tariffs




A NEW REPORT released today by the Climate Council reveals that the government’s lack of federal climate policy exposes the nation to severe economic consequences including 20,000 jobs at risk in New South Wales from carbon border tariffs.

Markets are moving: the economic costs of Australia’s climate inaction was written by Climate Advisor Nicki Hutley, a former partner at Deloitte Access Economics.

Ms Hutley said: The world is responding to the climate crisis and carbon limit tariffs are now inevitable. Australians will pay the price if the federal government does not cut our national carbon emissions in line with our major trading partners and NSW will be disproportionately affected.

The European Union announced a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) in July 2021. Ms Hutley said the new modeling by economists at Victoria University shows that Australia will experience a cut in our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a result.

If South Korea, China and the Group of 7 follow suit, New South Wales will be heavily affected by the dominance of targeted exports especially coal. Under the above scenario, the state is projected to lose about 20,000 jobs and more than $ 5 billion in Gross State Product.

The federal government must step forward and create support for the affected regions. The new low-carbon economy is coming and we urgently need a transition plan for Australian communities and workers, Ms Hutley said.


  • The European Union CBAM is expected to be the first of many such schemes as countries re-level the economic playing field for climate action. Such moves are being considered by Australia’s major trading partners.
  • A growing number of countries have a carbon price which requires those responsible for creating emissions to pay for them. As such carbon prices continue to rise, inaction costs will also rise.
  • Every day that the Australian Government delays climate action is hurting families and businesses in lost economic opportunities and rising costs.

Ms Hutley said there was great potential for investment in clean jobs and industries with modeling from Beyond Zero Emissions estimating that Australia could create a new $ 333 billion-a-year green export mix, almost three times the value of existing exports of fossil fuels. Deloitte Access Economics modeling suggests that support for a low-carbon economy would add $ 680 billion in economic growth and 250,000 new jobs by 2070.

We have the natural resources and ingenuity to become a world leader in renewable energy, and in industries such as lean manufacturing, mineral processing and renewable hydrogen bringing tens of thousands of jobs to states and regions.

Ms. Hutley said the federal government action has long been delayed. As a first step, we need to align with our key trading partners and at least halve emissions by 2030. In line with science, the Climate Council recommends a 75% reduction by 2030 on the road to zero by 2035.

For interviews with Nicki Hutley or John Connor please call Brianna Hudson on 0455 238 875 or Hannah Izzard on 0475 247 754.

The Climate Council is Australia the leader of community-funded climate change communication organizations. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers and the wider Australian community.

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