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Two million Aussies will need to change jobs if Australia is to become a net-zero nation by 2050, according to a new campaign.

The country has a shocking clean energy skills shortage that is holding it back from meeting the target, according to a joint announcement by the Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) and Clean Energy Council (CEC) on Thursday.

The bodies declared that Australia needs two million new jobs in the energy sector to reach its current target of net zero emissions by 2050. Even achieving Australia’s lower emissions target — a 43 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 — will require 200,000 new jobs, the bodies said.

CEC chief executive Kane Thornton said the skills shortages demonstrated a need to “double our energy workforce by 2030 and double it again by 2035”.

“Upskilling needs to occur on a colossal scale,” he said.

“Heightened global competition for talent across a diversity of critical skills and occupations means this is a top priority for our sector.”

On Thursday, the CEC and EEC announced Careers for Net Zero, a campaign to fill Australia’s renewables skills gap and encourage job seekers to move into the clean economy sector.

According to CEC’s head of strategy Holly Taylor, workers from all backgrounds will be needed.

“The whole point is that we don’t just need electricians and engineers,” Ms Taylor said.

“Of course, we definitely need them. But we also need project managers and investment analysts and insulation installers, net zero business advisers, blade technicians, the list goes on.

“So it doesn’t matter if you’ve studied a STEM subject or an arts degree, there’s a role for you in Australia’s clean economy.”

Billionaire software developer and green energy investor Mike Cannon-Brookes, who gave a speech at the launch of Careers for Net Zero, declared climate jobs will be “Australia’s next big employer”.

“When we create a ton of new stuff, which we’ll need to do, it’s going to create a ton of new jobs,” he told the audience.

“As I like to say, the green economy is Australia’s golden ticket. But the biggest risk is not having enough people in the right places to execute on all this.

“It’s going to be a whole-of-economy effort to keep up with what will be the biggest shift in Australia since someone put rocks on a boat and shipped them overseas to be burnt.

“Every single job in Australia will somehow need to adapt in this transition.”

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By Rahul

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