Australia should increase its exports of coal to help the global environment. That is the view of Rockhampton-based MPs Michelle Landry and Matthew Canavan, who say Australia produces the world’s most “energy-efficient” coal and increased production will help reduce global emissions.
“This isn’t a message environmental activists will want to hear but the best thing for the world’s environment would be for coal production in some other countries to be reduced and Australian production to be increased,” said Ms Landry, Member for Capricornia.
“It is a fact that coal will continue to be burned as a major source of energy round the world – especially in countries with expanding economies like India.
“It is also a fact that Australian black coal from Queensland is the most energy-efficient in the world in terms of energy output per unit of coal burned. Therefore, the most efficient outcome for the world’s environment is to use more Queensland coal and less coal from some overseas countries.
“New mines in places like the Galilee Basin should be developed as quickly as possible. It would create jobs in Queensland and reduce emissions internationally. To leave Queensland coal in the ground while burning coal from other countries would be a sin.”
Senator Canavan said: “We owe it to the world to mine more coal in Australia. Anti-coal activists trying to stop production in Australia are doing a disservice to the global environment.
“Coal is one of the most prolific minerals on Earth. There are many other sources of coal, but none as good as the coal we mine here.”
Along with fellow Queensland Senator Barry O’Sullivan, Senator Canavan has moved a successful motion in the Senate supporting the Australian coal industry.
The Senators’ motion noted the ambition of the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, by the year 2022 to bring 24/7 power to some 50 million households – the poorest of the poor – still living without electricity.
“India’s Council on Energy, Environment and Water states that to manage its energy system over the next 10 to 15 years is not a binary choice of coal or no coal: it has to be about cleaner coal combined with nuclear and hydropower,” they said.
“A failure to exploit Australia‘s thermal coal exports will mean a higher global use of less efficient sources of thermal coal, and consequently higher levels of global carbon emissions. Australian thermal coal exports are of the highest quality coal found anywhere in the world, generally reporting an energy content above 5,500 Kcal/kg, which compares favourably to Indonesian coal which has an estimated range of between 4,200 and 5,200.”
The Senators said they moved the motion after Ms Landry raised with them the need to acknowledge and promote the ongoing benefits of Australia's coal industry.
The motion was passed by the Senate.