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NSW invests $750 million in industrial net zero program

NSW has announced a $750 million program to promote low-emission industries and drive the state towards its 2050 net zero target.

Energy Minister Matt Kean says the Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program is about co-investing with industry to reduce carbon emissions and develop low-emissions technologies for the future.

“NSW was one of the first jurisdictions in the world to set a net zero objective, but we must get there in a way that grows the economy, makes our businesses and industry more competitive and puts us ahead of the pack in the low-carbon global economy,” says Kean.

“This $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
  • $195 million to research and develop new clean technologies to decarbonise in ways that grow the economy.

“Almost 30 per cent of our state’s carbon emissions are created by our top 55 industrial facilities, which are critical contributors to the NSW economy,” Kean says

“Supporting their move to cleaner equipment, technology and processes will significantly reduce emissions, while helping to protect jobs and maintain a resilient economy.”

The Climate Council has applauded the announcement, but says that the funds must be invested judiciously.

“Today’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,” says Climate Council spokesperson and economist Nicki Hutley.

“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.”

Hutley notes that 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, and still plans to spend public money on new gas projects.

“The federal government’s reluctance to commit to a net zero target is a growing economic risk for Australia,” says Hutley. “It should follow the lead of states and territories, and unlock the economic and job-creation benefits of climate action.”

Featured image: Minister Kean (left) with the Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward MLA.

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