A post-COVID Recovery for people & the earth

This campaign called for a just recovery post-COVID calling on the government to enact "stimulus spending on climate-conserving, low-carbon options" - as opposed to coal/gas
Do not progress with a “gas-powered recovery”


ARRCC advocates that Australian governments respond to the science of climate change in the way they have responded to COVID-19. This would mean stimulus spending on climate-conserving, low-carbon options, many of which are deployment ready, economically cheaper and more employment-intensive than fossil fuel-based industries which are declining and come with huge and costly environmental consequences. It makes no sense morally or economically for governments to favour the coal and gas sectors where less carbon intensive alternatives are readily available. We desire a world where life can flourish everywhere. For this we need a hospitable climate which, in turn, requires that high-consuming societies like Australia rapidly reduce the extraction and burning of fossil fuels for energy. We must end the era of unrestrained extraction and exploitation of nature. The rights of First Peoples to self-determination and to their lands should be respected. The limits of nature must be respected so that this generation hands on a world which is more-or-less intact for the next generation.

Up-date on Gas-fired Recovery, dated 27 Aug 2020
Federal and state governments seem to be set on encouraging more exploitation of gas resources as part of their economic recovery plans. ARRCC argues that this proposed direction would be destructive of the climate and much else, would create few jobs and would ultimately weaken the economy. Here are summaries of some recent reports to support this position. Evidence in The Australia Institute discussion paper, “Gas-fired Backfire”, (July 2020) exposes the facts that:
• For the same amount of investment, gas mining and export creates far fewer jobs than most other industries. This is a major failure when the primary purpose of stimulus spending is job creation.
• The argument that more gas is needed to boost manufacturing is not supported by the fact that the increase in gas mining and export over the last eight years has occurred at the same time as a decline in Australian manufacturing.
• The argument that more gas mining could bring down gas prices for consumers is not supported by the fact that increased gas extraction in recent years has happened at the same time as, for a variety of reasons, domestic gas prices have increased.
• Gas extraction companies are paying little or no tax.
• Subsidising gas will also displace renewable energy and lower cost-efficient electrical alternatives to gas for our households, businesses and industry that can be run off renewable energy. This will lock Australia into both higher emissions and higher energy prices for decades to come.

This article by a gas/LNG analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), details why gas is a failing industry globally. If the Federal Government in particular were to proceed with their plans for a gas-powered recovery, Australian taxpayers would be locked in long-term to underwriting a failing industry. With limited public money, the government currently aims to “back a loser”. For those interested in meeting with MP’s, writing to them or to the papers, here is a messaging guide put together by the Climate Media Centre (associated with the Climate Council): https://bit.ly/34DpLzi It drew from the above publications to suggest the following key points, up-to-date at 27 August, 2020:
• Billions in public money should not be spent lining the pockets of multinational gas companies which pay very little tax and royalties. At a time of economic crisis, the public does not support its money being used to subsidise big, multinational gas companies that have for years ripped off Australians and manufacturers, and not paid their fair share of tax or royalties. ​Few of the multinational oil and gas companies operating in Australia pay any corporate income tax at all in Australia and some even use tax havens to hide and shift profits out of Australia.
• Australians do not want their money spent on the uneconomic gas industry. Public money should not be used to prop up the dying and dirty gas industry which is already uneconomic and will only saddle taxpayers with decades of more debt. ​Public subsidisation of the flailing gas industry risks taxpayers’ money because gas is a bad investment​. There’s a high chance of stranded assets – investments that don’t generate a viable economic return- leaving the public carrying the can.
• Renewable energy, not gas, will create the jobs Australia needs. Gas provides few jobs compared to renewables, and in fact virtually any other industry. ​The gas industry is one of the least labour-intensive industries, providing around one eighth as many jobs per dollar spent as the average for all Australian industries​. Renewables are already creating more jobs. There are clean energy, shovel ready projects on the table. In comparison, the construction of new gas projects and pipelines is years off.
• Morrison should not squander public money to profit fossil fuel mates Morrison is being pressured by the gas industry, and his hand-picked ​National COVID-19Commission Advisory Board,​ to hand over public cash to boost their profits. These big gas companies do not care about farmers, Australian families who use gas, Traditional Owners and regional towns whose farmland and water is at risk.
• Stimulus money should be spent on renewables not gas-producing, burning and transporting gas will worsen the impacts of climate change. Australians want public money spent on clean energy and storage, which will provide cheaper energy to power Australia and more jobs.

In summary, a “gas-powered recovery” would lead to further destruction of the climate, water resources, agricultural land, indigenous rights, biodiversity and, in the long-term, human health and well-being. It would have adverse consequences for the Australian economy and create few jobs. In June, the Uniting Church in Australia published a wonderful Vision Statement entitled, “#BuildBackBetter: A just recovery post-COVID-19” which advocates for directing post-COVID-19 stimulus spending into creating a fairer, more flourishing and sustainable society.

Note: This descriptive text was copied from the Campaign's website. Some website links may no longer be active.

Campaign Details

Group Leading this Campaign: Australian Religious Response to Climate Change

Main Issue of the Campaign:

Campaign Ran From: 2020 to 2021

Campaign Outcome:

Year Outcome Assessed:

Geographic Range of Activity:


A post-COVID Recovery for people & the earth