The Australian government has rejected the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which called on the world to amongst other actions against climate change, phase out the use of coal to generate power by 2050, the Guardian of the UK has reported.
The country according to the Guardian, claimed renewable energy cannot replace baseload coal power, and would continue to use it in its power generation.
The deputy prime minister, Michael McCormack, said Australia should absolutely continue to use and exploit its coal reserves, despite the IPCC’s dire warnings the world has just 12 years to avoid climate change catastrophe.
McCormack, explained the government would not change policy “just because somebody might suggest that some sort of report is the way we need to follow and everything that we should do.”
Also, the labor leader, Bill Shorten, reportedly did not commit to the total phase-out of coal, but called for more renewable energy.
Since the former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull abandoned the emissions reduction component of the coalition’s national energy guarantee, Australia has been left without a policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020, when the renewable energy target will expire.
The prime minister, Scott Morrison, claimed Australia will meet its Paris climate agreement targets of reducing emissions by 26 per cent to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 “in a canter”.
However, the claim is contradicted by environment department figures showing emissions are rising and advice from the Energy Security Board that Australia will fall short under a business-as-usual scenario.
The IPCC report which was released on Monday, said that holding global warming to 1.5C rather than 2C would probably be the difference between the survival of some Great Barrier Reef coral and its complete decline. The Guardian reported that this held particularly sobering news for Australia.
It said on Monday McCormack told Sky News coal-mining was “very, very important” because it provided 60 per cent of Australia’s electricity, 50,000 jobs and was Australia’s largest export.
McCormack, said he “understands the concerns” expressed in the IPCC report, but admitted he hadn’t read it yet.
“I’ll certainly consider what it has to say. But the fact is, coal-mining … and coal-fired power stations do play an important part of our energy mix in Australia and will do so going forward.”
The deputy prime minister said that he hadn’t “seen anything that’s going to replace coal in the near future”, predicting it would be an important part of the energy mix “for more than just 10 years”.
“The Liberals and Nationals in government are supportive of small business, of industry, of farms, and of coal-mining,” he added.