Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The Australian ABC, a wholly government owned broadcaster, has advocated stronger measures so Australia can meet the IPCC climate deadline – but they also suggest strong coal exports will continue for the foreseeable future.
Can we quit coal in time? IPCC warns world has just 12 years to avoid climate change catastrophe
By Angela Lavoipierre and Stephen Smiley
Australia has more than 21 coal-fired power stations in operation, and still relies heavily on coal for electricity.
There are no new coal-fired power stations currently being built in Australia, but Energy Market Analyst Tim Buckley has told The Signal 80 per cent of Australia’s coal is exported.
He said he believes “it’s entirely possible, [but] it’s entirely improbable” that Australia will manage to wean itself off coal by 2050, if the current policy settings remain.
Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are all planning to build new power plants.
Tim Buckley said if all those plans come to pass, the rest of the world’s cuts won’t be enough to compensate for that increase.
“Therefore we have to assume that the world is going to go off the climate cliff.
What is wrong with this picture?
Since 80% of Australia’s coal is exported, and coal is allegedly destroying the world, the easiest way to reduce global consumption of coal and reduce the alleged risk would be to immediately ban all coal exports.
If I believed coal was a threat to the world, this is what I would demand.
Instead, Australian politicians who claim to believe in the IPCC warning persist with allowing coal to be dug out of the ground as fast as it can be extracted.
Australian politicians are not alone in their hypocrisy. Canada’s Justin Trudeau once said “No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and leave them there”. Whatever his climate rhetoric, Trudeau is busy facilitating the extraction of oil sands as fast as they can be shovelled into the processing plants.
Either the green politicians in charge of some of the world’s fossil fuel export nations are so selfish they don’t care that their failure to act is abetting the destruction of the world, or all these green politicians who make such a noisy show of their climate piety are really utter hypocrites who don’t believe their own rhetoric.
Leading green politicians don’t take the IPCC any more seriously than I do.