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Policy report

Net zero emissions will divide Australians

A state-based electoral analysis of the impact of net zero emissions
Climate change mitigation Climate change Job loss Labour market disruption Carbon emissions Emissions reduction Global environmental change Australia

Australia is facing increased international pressure to adopt a target of net zero carbon equivalent emissions by the year 2050, if not sooner. This pressure is growing as the November 2021 United Nations Glasgow Climate Change Conference approaches.

Despite the significant humanitarian, social, and economic consequences of a net zero emissions target, no formal modelling has been provided by any Australian government of the potential costs of this policy. Australians are being asked to agree to a policy without any information regarding its potential impact on their lives, jobs, communities or the future of Australia.

There are ten industries in Australia where emissions per job are higher than average, and the jobs in these industries are deemed at risk. A more detailed explanation of the methodology can be found in the IPA's original Net zero jobs report.

The findings of this report demonstrate how Australia will be deeply divided by a net zero emissions target, with the jobs of those living in outer-metropolitan and regional areas significantly more affected than the jobs of those living in affluent inner-city electorates. This disproportionate impact is demonstrated in the electoral analysis.

This report also uses data from the Australian Electoral Commission to analyse the swings towards and away from the Coalition at the 2019 election. This analysis further illustrates the very deep divide within the Coalition and the split between its outer-metropolitan and regional and inner-city electorates.

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