The call by The Greens for Australian thermal coal exports to be made illegal needs to be categorically rejected.
Australian coal has powered the industrialisation of Japan, Korea and China. In doing so, it has directly contributed to hundreds of millions of people being lifted out of poverty and improving the living standards for many more.
The International Energy Agency in the 2018 World Energy Outlook said coal will remain the single largest source of electricity through to 2040 under both the current and new policies scenarios.
Strong electricity demand is being driven by a combination of factors including significant population growth across most Asian regions, industrialisation and urbanisation and a move in policy direction away from nuclear power in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
Suggesting that Australian thermal coal exports should be banned not only flies in the face of what the IEA is projecting for the region, it also condemns billions of people across the Asian region and increasingly Africa to energy poverty. The victims of this would be primarily women and children in developing countries.
Coal jobs represented AUS$6 billion in wages paid to Australian workers in regional areas. Royalties from coal contributed AUS$5.2 billion to State budgets in 2017-18, funding hospitals, schools, and essential services like the police, firefighting and ambulances. The coal industry directly employs 50 000 people and 120 000 related jobs predominantly in small businesses in regional areas.
Coal will continue to play an important role in the provision of power at the global level. The focus by the coal sector will be on how to lower its emission profile through more innovation and carbon capture and storage.
Suggestions that coal exports should be banned are reckless and insulting to tens of thousands of hard working Australians and their families.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/power/16112018/the-greens-thermal-coal-exports-policy-should-be-rejected-says-mca/