The New South Wales (NSW) Government’s $750 million Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program is expected to help the state’s businesses cash in on the economic opportunities of a transition to net zero emission.
The Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program forms a part of the State Government’s NSW Net Zero Plan Stage 1: 2020-2030 to reduce emissions by 35 per cent by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050.
The $750 million program will support the development of new clean technologies, create world-leading centres of research and development and help existing industries future-proof their operations. Funding will focus on three key areas:
- $380 million to support existing industries to re-tool with low emissions alternatives and future proof their businesses;
- $175 million to set up low carbon industries such as green hydrogen to create the jobs of the future; and
- $195 million to research and develop new clean technologies so NSW can decarbonise in ways that grow the economy.
Climate Council spokesperson and economist, Nicki Hutley, said NSW industrial hubs like Port Kembla and the Hunter have incredible potential to be global clean industry leaders, with the right mix of skills, infrastructure and clean energy potential.
“They need policy support and funding to adapt to a world where Australia’s major trading partners are moving towards net zero emissions, and demand for low-carbon products is growing,” she said.
Ms Hutley said the government’s announcement is a welcome move to help businesses support and grow jobs in industries such as manufacturing, and employ new workers in a changing global market.
“But it must be implemented carefully to track emissions reductions and business benefits, and the focus must be on a genuine transition to clean industry rather than propping up the role of fossil fuels,” she noted.
While all Australian states and territories have adopted a target of net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, the Federal Government has yet to adopt a national net zero emissions target.
“The Federal Government’s reluctance to commit to a net zero target is a growing economic risk for Australia. It should follow the lead of states and territories, and unlock the economic and job creation benefits of climate action,” Ms Hutley added.
Expressions of interest for the Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program will open in April 2021, with businesses and industry encouraged to jump online and register. For more information visit www.energysaver.nsw.gov.au/netzeroindustry.
The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. It provides authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to policymakers and the wider Australian community.