Green jobs’ won’t save the debate

by Richard Denniss in The Australian
Originally published in The Australian on May 6, 2011

There has been a lot of talk about the need to ‘reframe’ the debate about climate change among the Australian environment groups who have tasked themselves with persuading our politicians to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, their attempts to reframe the debate have been as unsuccessful as their attempts to persuade our politicians. The worst example of this failure is the repeated attempts to get people to focus on ‘green jobs’ or ‘low-carbon jobs’ or, these days, ‘clean energy jobs’. Now don’t get me wrong, transforming our energy infrastructure will create a lot of jobs, but focusing on this point is neither successful as a strategy to reframe the debate, nor is it successful at persuading marginal voters to change their minds about the urgent need to reduce emissions.

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