Primed for Action: A Resilient Recovery for Australia

21.05.20 By and
This content is more than 3 years old

COVID-19 has fundamentally reshaped the world we know, taking a horrendous toll on human health and the economy. While the response has not been perfect, Australia has so far managed this crisis far better than many comparable countries. Federal, state and territory governments have been relying on expert, evidence-based advice to lead their response to the crisis. This crisis is far from over. But another, more long-term crisis remains an urgent threat to humanity: climate change.

This short report, ‘Primed for Action: A Resilient Recovery for Australia’ outlines the Climate Council’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. As Australia reboots its economy on the other side of this crisis there is remarkable potential for that economic recovery to occur through climate action. A gas-led economic recovery is poorly suited to the task at hand. A reorientation toward net zero emissions is a fundamental requirement of Australia’s COVID-19 recovery to deal with the two crises of economic recovery and climate change.


An image of the cover of the Climate Council Report, with text saying 'Primed for Action: A Resilisent Recovery for Australia'.

Key Findings:

1. Politicians have listened to expert scientific advice on COVID-19 and acted. It is urgent they do the same with climate change.

2. A resilient recovery from the coronavirus must prepare Australia for the next major threat – climate change. The potential for job creation in the renewables sector is substantial and can set our country up for the 21st Century.

A goal of net zero emissions must include:

  1. Replacing all fossil fuels with other energy sources or processes.
  2. Meeting our energy needs with renewable electricity.
  3. Stepping up as a global exporter of zero emissions energy, technology and expertise to help the rest of the world reduce their emissions with Australian power, products and services.
  4. Taking action on the land and coasts to build future resilience to climate threats.

An infographic of the 4 pillars of climate action in Australia.

3. Gas has no role to play in building a prosperous, resilient economy for the future. It is volatile, dangerous and unnecessary.

4. Australians are already living with dangerous climate change having experienced recordbreaking drought, the Black Summer bushfires and the third mass bleaching event of the Great Barrier Reef in the past five years.