100+ businesses band together to demand 1% of GDP be allocated to clean energy in May budget

More than 100 Australian businesses, including some of the country’s largest, have banded together to put pressure on government to commit at least 1% of GDP to a green energy recovery in the May budget and to ensure a more equitable transition to renewables for marginalised Australians.

Australia’s business community has joined the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Australia calling on governments to pledge more money for renewable energy in the upcoming federal budget, due on May 11.

Specifically, the group of companies, which includes Atlassian, Unilever, Mirvac and Australian Ethical, want to see 1% of Australia’s GDP set aside for clean energy.

They also want to see Australian governments target a 700% renewable energy capacity, which would make Australia a leading global exporter of clean energy. The campaign is also calling for renewable energy industrial precincts, which would be located either within Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) or close by them.

Finally, and importantly, the group has tied climate action to social equity, highlighting the need for a fairer renewable energy transition to ensure First Nations, low-income households, workers and regional communities all benefit.

“Australia has all of the resources to become a leading exporter of renewables by 2030. With more support from our governments, we could produce enough clean, affordable energy to power our nation, plus have plenty left over to sell to our neighbours,” WWF Australia’s Energy Transition Manager, Nicky Ison, said. “For Australian businesses, this would mean creating hundreds of thousands and jobs and providing a significant boost to our economy. But we must act fast. If we don’t, we risk squandering a once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

In total, 102 businesses with tens of thousands of employees in a range of sectors have opted to back the Renewables Nation Campaign, hopefully shifting the federal government’s budget priorities which will be revealed next week.

Atlassian’s billionaire CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes has become somewhat of renewable energy champion in Australia, using numerous platforms to put pressure on government.

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes participating in the Global Climate Strike, Martin Place, Sydney, Australia.

Image: Atlassian Facebook

“Climate change poses an existential threat — not just to our environment, but to our health, our communities, and our economic well-being. If we get renewable energy right, not only will we create a more resilient planet, we have the opportunity to create the jobs of the future,” Atlassian’s Head of Strategy & Sustainability, Jessica Hyman, said.

“We have seen encouraging movement from state and federal governments to help Australia seize the opportunity of becoming a renewable export superpower, but there is so much more to do. It is excellent to see so many Australian businesses recognise the opportunity and join us in calling for more action,” WWF’s Ison said.

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