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July 2009 Issue
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Investment needed in green industry

Australia will need to invest heavily in green industries if it wants to keep pace with the new economic paradigm of the 21st century.

That's according to the Executive Director of the new Environment Institute at the University of Adelaide, Professor Mike Young.

Professor Young said governments and industries around the world were changing their investments and business models to comply with environmental needs.

"There is enormous global investment in new ways of recycling water, in renewable energy and environmental monitoring and unless Australia follows suit, its economy will be left behind," he said.

Professor Young is in charge of four centres and two programs at the University of Adelaide's new Environment Institute, which was officially launched on the eve of World Environment Day last month at the National Wine Centre by the SA Minister for Environment and Conservation, the Hon. Jay Weatherill.

Minister Weatherill and Professor Young were among several speakers, including the Federal Member for Port Adelaide, Mr Mark Butler, Professor Robyn Williams from the ABC's Science Show, and the University's Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor James McWha.

The Environment Institute brings together expertise in economics, water, renewable energy, environmental change, biodiversity, engineering and policy to develop new solutions to the world's most pressing environmental problems.

The Director of Climate Change in the Environment Institute, Professor Barry Brook, said Australia must be bold in developing new energy solutions.

"Australia is one of the countries that have the most to lose from global warming, yet we are also perfectly placed to establish ourselves as a renewable energy leader on an international scale," he said.

Minister Weatherill said the South Australian Government led the nation in attracting investment for alternative energy sources such as geothermal energy, wind power and solar energy.

"We will continue to support research and investment in the green sector but it is up to all of us, not just governments, to lead the way. How we make our purchasing and investment decisions and where we apply our creative energies will determine how well Australia takes advantage of the new economic realities."

Full details about the launch of the Environment Institute, including a promotional video and podcasts of speeches given on the night, can be found at:

Story by Candy Gibson

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