Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has this week come out strongly in support of the industry's future by stating that coal is a “very important part” and the “largest single part” of the global energy mix and will likely remain that way for years.
The Prime Minister rejected calls for a global moratorium on new coal mines, saying that stopping all coal exports would be a mistake, as Australian coal is cleaner and more suitable for tackling global poverty. "No I don't agree with a moratorium on the idea of exploiting coal", Mr Turnbull said this week. "If Australia were to stop all of its coal exports it would not not reduce global emissions one iota. In fact, arguably it would increase them because our coal, by and large, is cleaner than the coal in many other countries." Malcolm Turnbull is right. A low emissions energy future includes coal, and the foundations are already in place. In NSW our coal exports can contribute to lower emissions, help tackle energy poverty around the world all the while generating the jobs and economic growth we see here in NSW. Labor Opposition Leader Bill Shorten also rejected the calls for a coal moratorium, ensuring a bipartisan commonsense approach to energy policy and the role of coal. The International Energy Agency estimates that an additional 1 billion tonnes of coal will be used in 2019 compared with today and that by 2040 global coal trade will increase by around 40 per cent. This means that the world’s future energy needs will not be satisfied without coal. And the more that high quality NSW coal can replace the use of lower quality coal from other countries, the lower global emissions will be over coming decades. Restricting the development of Australian coal mines will only mean increased use of coal of a much lower standard mined elsewhere. NSW also adheres to probably the strictest environmental guidelines in the world, further minimising the impact of our mining operations on the environment.