Media Release: The government’s climate challenge and the China opportunity

23 May 2022

For immediate release.

We congratulate Anthony Albanese and the Australian Labor Party on their electoral win this weekend.

Prime Minister elect Albanese and his team face a set of economic, health, geopolitical and environmental challenges that are amongst the most challenging any government has had to face.

Included in this list are the government’s approach to climate, and to our major trading partner, China.

As the incoming Prime Minister and his leadership team finalise their approaches, we urge them to consider the following:

  • It’s in Australia’s interests to have a high-level political dialogue with China, to have our trade operate freely, and to allow Chinese investors to feel genuinely welcome in non-restricted areas.
  • Climate change represents an area with potential for positive, constructive cooperation with China that offers significant potential to lay the groundwork for repair of the political relationship in the longer-term, and to strengthen bilateral trade and investment in the medium term.
  • Australia has the expertise and resources to support decarbonisation activities across key sectors of China’s economy, which will be critical to global efforts to limit the effects of climate change. Those efforts will, in turn, offer scope to scale up operations to support the growth of new jobs and industries in Australia.

We know that dialogue with China is possible.

The opportunity is to scale up sharply cooperative projects between Australia and China on energy and climate change, with a view to catalysing a new form of collaboration to put bilateral relations on a more stable basis.

Of course, it will be difficult, but we urge incoming Prime Minister Albanese to act boldly and use his government’s climate mandate not only shape a new set of domestic climate change policies, but to use climate to kick-start a senior level dialogue with China.

There is immediate potential to build on the work that the Australia China Business Council has led through the hosting of a CEO business roundtable last December that explored collaboration between Australian and Chinese firms in the mining, energy, and resources sector to reduce carbon emissions.

This is a special moment that we urge Mr Albanese to seize to bring together the diversity of voices and views around the country, to foster a sense of common endeavour and to harness the momentum to drive the next phase of Australia-China bilateral relations.

The Australia China Business Council is looking forward to working with the new government to continue its work highlighting opportunities for collaboration on the climate challenge with our largest bi-lateral trading partner, China.

For further information please contact:

David Olsson
National President, ACBC
Mobile 0418 993 061

(All can be attributed as quotes from ACBC National President, David Olsson)