Albanese says we’ll go “toe to toe” with US on green subsidies

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese delivers speech in front of Australian flag (future made in australia)
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (Image: Shutterstock)

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has revealed plans to unveil a range of financial incentives to drive investment in Australia’s renewables sector and keep money and talent from being diverted overseas by subsidies in the US and Europe.

Australia is responding to the raft of renewables incentives in US President Joe Biden’s $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act and the European Commission’s Green Deal Industrial Plan.

Related article: Why Biden’s renewables race could set Australia back

In a speech given on Friday night, Albanese said, “Every nation needs to decarbonise and electrify.

“When we talk about a future made in Australia—we want it made the Australian way. Not entering a race to the bottom on pay and conditions but driving a new generation of good jobs and fair wages in safe workplaces. Highly-skilled workers, making high-value products.

“This is a task that traverses far more than energy policy, or industry policy. This is a whole-of-nation opportunity and it demands a whole-of-economy approach.

“It all has to fit together, it all has to pull in the same direction.”

The Clean Energy Council has welcomed the Prime Minister’s comments.

“Reports that the Albanese Government is planning a substantial funding package to respond to the Biden Administration’s US$624 billion Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), are an encouraging sign for Australia’s future as a clean energy superpower.

“The Clean Energy Council has advocated for an Australian response to the heightened competition for capital investment, labour and resources driven by the legislation, as well as the responses from other global players, including the European Union and Japan.”

Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton, said that while further details about a response to the IRA have yet to be made public, the government has demonstrated that it is serious about ensuring that Australia’s clean energy transformation isn’t left behind in the global clean energy investment race.

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The IRA has unleashed a wave of clean energy investment announcements since it was passed in August 2022, exceeding US$420 billion worth of capital investments, 282GW of clean energy projects, and 42,000 American manufacturing jobs.

“Securing and maintaining a solid flow of investment in Australia also works hand in glove with the work of Commonwealth, state and territory governments to coordinate and improve policies aimed at minimising costs and delays, and harmonising elements of our domestic energy transformation,” Thornton said.

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