Albanese says if Australia stops coal exports emissions will rise

AAP/Paul Miller

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has in an interview with 2GB radio said that Australia should keep exporting coal because there is demand for it. He also said that if Australia were to stop exporting coal, then it would be replaced with coal that was worse for emissions from other countries.

“Places in the world want to buy our product, whether it’s coal or iron ore or copper or other products. It’s not something that’s driven by the fact of the export, it’s the other way around,” Mr Albanese said.

“If we were to stop exporting coal tomorrow, then that would just lead to a displacement, with more coal being bought from all the places in the world, South America, Indonesia, there’s a range of countries. We’re not unique in having coal assets.

“It would likely lead to an actual increase in global emissions because much of our coal is better quality than the alternative.

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“So we need to be sensible in the way we examine this. We do need to reduce our use of fossil fuels around the world. That’s something that’s happening here in Australia of course.”

Albanese went on to say that there won’t be new coal-fired power stations built in Australia, purely because there is no market demand for them.

“The market is indicating that that just won’t happen. There’s nothing stopping it, there’s nothing stopping it at all, except for the economics. The economics just don’t stack up compared with the alternatives which are there,” Mr Albanese said.

His comments have met harsh criticism at a time when the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 is taking place in Madrid, and Australia is experiencing severe bushfires.

Others were in support of Mr Albanese’s comments.

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Energy Minister Angus Taylor is attending COP25 from December 7-11, representing Australia.

Mr Taylor said Australia will work to ensure the strong and credible implementation of the Paris Agreement, as part of a “global solution to a global problem”.

“We will strive to finalise the outstanding elements of the Paris Rulebook and demonstrate to the world the real and meaningful action Australia is taking to reduce emissions,” Mr Taylor said.

“We have a track record of which all Australians can be proud: we have beaten our first Kyoto target and are on track to overachieve on our 2020 target by 411 Mt CO2-e.”