Labour and Climate Action in Australia: Stepping Away from the Hegemony?

Le Queux, Stephane (2024) Labour and Climate Action in Australia: Stepping Away from the Hegemony? In: [Presented at the AIRAANZ 2024 Annual Conference]. From: AIRAANZ 2024 Annual Conference: Reimagining Industrial Relations: work, care, climate & safety, 31 Jan - 2 Feb 2024, Perth, WA, Australia.

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With Labour back in Government, the climate agenda has taken a step forward in 2023, least in legislation. It was not surprising nor unusual that the initiatives put forward, the National Energy Transition Authority Bill 2022 (effective March 2023) and the National Net-Zero Authority later in July, reflected demands from the ACTU Congress 2021. To start with, the presentation will thus come back to the ACTU policies regarding climate action, as elaborated in Congress; policy statements which were further developed into an action plan 2021-2025 and best practices. While the Labour Government committed to align Australian efforts to the Paris Agreement and the international community on climate action, views are diverging. Australia has the potential for the optimists, but action must be of significant scale and targeted. Targets are set too low, for the environmentalists. And there are doubts being raised concerning Labour’s true commitment given on-going support to mining expansion. We will then turn the attention to the divisions within the labour movement itself. While polarised union positions are known for some time, including internal dissonance within Federations themselves, what to expect? And what about unions’ alliances with environmental groups? The case of Adani was emblematic of Labour and unions’ ambivalence when it comes to mining. What to expect so long Australia struggles to depart from the ‘hegemony of fossil fuels’ (Wright, 2020)? As transitioning is likely to be more challenging in resource-based economies, we will conclude on an international note about Argentina and Canada in comparison.

Item ID: 81728
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Keywords: Climate change policies, Labour, Unions, net-zero
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Date Deposited: 02 May 2024 01:41
FoR Codes: 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3505 Human resources and industrial relations > 350504 Industrial and employee relations @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410103 Human impacts of climate change and human adaptation @ 50%
SEO Codes: 15 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 1503 Management and productivity > 150301 Industrial relations @ 50%
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1901 Adaptation to climate change > 190103 Social impacts of climate change and variability @ 50%
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