Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The Australian ABC has unusually printed an almost balanced article, about the future prospects of coal, in which they contrast the sharp divide between green divestment rhetoric, and the market reality, which is that demand for coal is soaring.
World in danger of spending trillions on unviable fossil fuel projects, says climate change adviser
A former investment banker turned climate change adviser says the world risks building trillions of dollars worth of uneconomic fossil fuel projects over the next 10 years because of measures to limit global warming.
“It’s the projects like the Galilee Basin, the Carmichael mine, they are just not needed economically in our view,” Mr Fulton said.
“There’s just so much coal out there, that does Australia once again, all these companies, want to bet on a highly volatile, highly difficult-to-read market and produce the world’s largest coal mine, which by the way, even if I’m just an economist now, all you’re doing is risking a collapse in the coal price.”
The Minerals Council of Australia disagrees with the report’s assertion that $US100 billion worth of future coal, oil and gas projects are unviable.
The council’s executive director of coal Greg Evans said demand for planned coal projects in Queensland’s Galilee Basin would remain strong over the next few decades.
“Our major customers are those customers in Asia where economic expansion will be taking place,” he said.
“India, South-East Asia, and indeed, North Asia. So they will require all the energy they can get.”
Mr Evans said the International Energy Agency was forecasting that Australian coal exports are likely to increase by 37 per cent by 2040.
Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-25/viability-of-future-fossil-fuel-projects/6974538
The Minerals Council of Australia cites Asia as the main market for their coal. In my opinion Asia is thumbing its nose at the Western obsession with CO2. China demanded and received a free pass to burn as much coal as they want, for the foreseeable future. Japan has taken the climate humour even further, by claiming that building coal power stations is a form of green energy investment.
In the midst of this circus, Coal companies are quietly ramping up production capacity, to meet the ongoing surge in demand for their product.