Australia and China are taking a very different approach to the treatment of jobs and industries that provide goods and services in environmental protection.
Major investors in Australia are planning for the potential impact of the Coalition winning power. They plan to axe the carbon price and demolish the clean energy finance system. Due to regulatory uncertainty, and lack of solid returns, they expect that private funding will be divert away from large-scale renewable energy thereby starving the sector.
China, however, recently announced that it would elevate environmental protection to a pillar business and will receive government support through tax breaks and subsidies to combat pollution. It involves staggering sums of money.
China has pledged to increase the output of all environmental protection industries to 4.5 billion yuan (US$730billion) by 2015. This is an average annual growth of 15%. This is nearly 9% of China’s GDP in 2012. It’s equivalent to almost 50% of Australia’s GDP in 2012.
China has announced that it will spend US$275 million over five years to improve air quality. This is roughly twice its annual defense budget. This is a huge sum, even if you consider Chinese standards.
A Missing Pillar In Election Policies Environmental
Coincidentally economic pillars are also the it metaphor for Australian politics. Both Labor and the Coalition have built their economic policies around these pillars in this election. Five pillars held by the Coalition, seven by Labor Party.
Let’s focus on the five economic pillars of the Coalition’s policy platform, as it is likely that the Coalition will form the next government. These are manufacturing, advanced services and agriculture exports. Education and research is also include.
The economic pillars and policies of the Coalition don’t make any reference to the environment protection industry.
Although it might be hidden in advance service, the Coalition’s policy doesn’t mention it. Advanced services are referred to as highly diversified sector, and is particularly mention by engineering, financial, and architectural services.
Delivering a cleaner, more sustainable environment” is the 19th policy theme in the Coalition’s policies. This emphasizes the direct actions on climate change over the carbon tax and creates a one-stop shop for environmental approvals.
Throughout the Coalition’s policies, there are calls for reducing regulation and restrictions on business, especially the carbon tax and mining tax.
The Coalition’s overall impression is that environmental protection is viewed as a restriction on industry and should be minimized (like trips to the dentist) rather than a business opportunity.
Is It A Pillar Or The Entire Foundation?
Although it is innovative to think of environmental protection as an individual industry, it may miss the larger point that the entire economy is dependent upon it https://qqonline.bet/.
Gaylord Nelson, a late US senator, famously stated, The environment is the wholly own subsidiary to the economy, and not the other way around.
Instead of seeing environmental protection as a sector that competes with other industries. We should see it as the foundation for all our economic and social goals.
As an environmental law teacher, I often use the metaphor of a tree. Social and economic goals such as housing and jobs are the fruits we want to achieve. While education, good governance, justice and a healthy ecosystem are the roots that support the tree.
We can see environmental protection as the root or foundation. That sustains social and economic goals like jobs, housing, security, peace, and health. This allows us to avoid the common and arid dichotomy between jobs and the environment.