The report found that if the world didn’t put in place significant new policies and global warming exceeded 3 degrees by 2070, Queensland’s economic growth to 2050 would average just over 2 per cent, much less than the 3.8 per cent average achieved from 1990 to 2020.
If the world made the net zero transition and Australia did not, the costs would be as much as $15 billion and 70,000 jobs, the report found.
“As a large exporting and emissions-intensive state, Queensland wears a large share of this cost,” it said.
But if the transition was adopted by Queensland, then by as soon as 2025 the labour market would start to change as investments were skewed towards renewables and clean technologies.
Job losses were likely in forestry and logging as well as mining, but 80 per cent of existing tasks would continue under a decarbonised economy.
Under net zero, the south east of the state would find an extra 1300 jobs in hydrogen, 1350 in bio energy and 4900 in clean electricity. in north Queensland the clean energy sector would grow by 8.6 per cent.
The Climate Council’s Nicki Hutley said if the planning was done early, Queensland’s workers and regions would experience clean economic growth and job opportunities.
“To avoid a climate-damaged future, the whole of Queensland needs to shift onto a new pathway of net zero economic growth.”
The current Queensland emissions policy is for a 30 per cent reduction on 2005 levels by 2030.
“In the transformation to net zero, getting the skills mix right within the Queensland workforce is critical. On its way to net zero, Queensland’s production systems need to rapidly scale up low-emissions technologies,” the report said.
It admitted there were areas of the state’s economy that were reliant on fossil fuels and they would decline under emissions reduction targets, but this would be matched by growth in other areas of the economy.