Coal will continue to be a significant contributor to Australia’s economy long beyond 2030, according to the country’s resources minister, despite a United Nations envoy urging the country to phase out fossil fuel.
Climate change would severely harm Australia’s economy unless more efforts are made to reduce coal use, according to Selwin Hart, the UN special adviser on climate change, who spoke in Canberra on Sunday. On Monday, Australia made the announcement.
Australia is the world’s third-largest emitter per capita, with coal accounting for almost 60% of its electricity output. Its conservative administration has persistently supported the fossil fuel industry, claiming that harsher emissions regulations would result in job losses.
According to Australia’s newest export data, “the reports of coal’s impending death are greatly exaggerated and its future is assured well beyond 2030,” according to Resources Minister Keith Pitt.
The United Nations has asked for coal to be phased out by 2030 in nations that are members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, including Australia.
The Group of 20 leading economies’ energy and environment ministers failed to reach an agreement in July to phase out coal by 2025. However, other experts believe that progress could be made during the UN climate negotiations in Glasgow in November.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stated that Australia is on track to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, but he has not specified a timeframe. Before the Glasgow discussions, he stated that Australia would adjust its 2030 emissions projections.