Australia has an enormous opportunity to benefit from the transition to a low carbon economy, according to a new statement from the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

President of the Academy Professor Jane Hall said that, now we have overwhelming consensus on the science of climate change, it is time to focus on the economic and social policy responses required for Australia to transition to a sustainable and prosperous future.

“Climate change poses a significant challenge now and for future generations,” said Professor Hall.

“The Academy has released this statement to draw attention to the fact that we have the necessary expertise in Australia to guide and take advantage of cost-effective, equitable and innovative responses to this challenge, and that all Australians stand to benefit from doing so.

“We also feel strongly that it is Australia’s responsibility as a wealthy and morally-principled country to contribute to ambitious, global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and to support the efforts in our region.”

The Academy’s statement coincides with the G7 leaders’ summit, hosted by the UK, that will focus on climate change as a key priority alongside increasing the global vaccine rollout.

Australia’s Prime Minister will attend this meeting as a guest and will be asked to speak to Australia’s commitments and actions to address climate change. Australia of course is one of the highest per-capita emitters of greenhouse gasses in the world.

“We hope that the Prime Minister will convey some of this ambition and opportunity in his statements to the Leaders’ Summit today,” said Professor Hall. “We also look forward to working with the Commonwealth Government and with State and Territory Governments to ensure our best social science experts are available to provide advice and direction on climate policy that is effective, efficient and fair for all Australians.”