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Should Australia ditch coal by 2030?

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The Australian government has made it clear that the country will continue to both produce and export coal well beyond 2030

This comes despite strong warnings from a top UN climate official who says failing to reduce fossil fuels will “wreak havoc” on the economy.

Australia is currently on the battleground against many other developed nations which are working hard to phase out fossil fuels entirely by 2030.

Selwin Hart, UN Assistant Secretary-General said wealthy nations must stop using coal power by 2030.

This is to prevent global warming from getting worse…and within the agreed target of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

During a speech to ANU, Hard said many investors are increasingly abandoning coal in favour of renewables, which are now cheaper in most places

He said he fully understands the role that coal and other fossil fuels have played in Australia’s economy, with mining accounting for just over 2 per cent of Australia’s labour market 

“But it’s essential to have a broader, more honest and rational conversation about what is in Australia’s interests because the bottom line is clear.

He says If coal isn’t phased out, climate change will wreak havoc across all sectors 

Australia’s minister for resources backs coal power for driving economy

The nation’s minister for resources says “the future of this crucial industry will be decided by the Australian Government, not a foreign body that wants to shut it down”

The minister believes shutting down the sector entirely will “cost thousands of jobs and billions of export dollars for Australia’s economy”.

Meanwhile, the government holds that Australia has an important role to play in supplying coal to various nations.

It says “coal consumption throughout Asia is forecast to grow over the next decade to meet the energy demands of countries like China, India and South Korea”.

Australia stands as the second-largest exporter of coal in the world, and the minister stands firm on the fact that “Australia has an important role to play in meeting this demand”.

Climate

Australia’s Treasurer pushing for net zero goal in line with the rest of the world

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Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is set to make the economic case for setting a 2050 net-zero emissions target for the country

Freydenberg says Australia is not transitioning in line with the rest of the world.

The treasurer will meet with business leaders on Friday, in the lead-up to the fast-approaching COP 26 climate summit in the UK.

Freydenberg will note that trillions of dollars are being used globally to support the net-zero transition… with a total of 129 countries now committed to reaching net zero by 2050.

This comes as one of the country’s leading banks “coordinated more than 50 transactions worth $100bn in climate finance-related activities” over the past year.

It follows Defence Minister Peter Dutton and Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne meeting with counterparts in the U-S over the past week and signing off on a climate action report.

This report acknowledges that climate change is a global security threat, and reflects a commitment to “make low emissions technologies globally scalable and commercially viable”

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Australian Energy Ministers set to clash over ‘CoalKeeper’ within hours | ticker VIEWS

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State and Federal Energy Ministers in Australia are gearing up to meet on Friday 24 September to discuss the energy market

As the rest of the world moves away from coal, Australian energy ministers are preparing for a potentially fractious meeting this week, to discuss keeping coal-fired plants open. This is to ensure the country’s power system remains reliable during a transition to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The proposal, known is known as the capacity market, will provide a strategic reserve for significant events in the National Electricity Market (NEM). The NEM accounts for more than 80pc of Australia’s total electricity demand, and coal-fired plants are its largest fuel source.

But the proposal has proved to be contentious, as some state ministers have announced that they will not support it.

The Federal Government has announced its #CoalKeeper program to support the coal industry. However, experts are urging the Government to consider the opportunities in other industries to transition away from coal.

Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio is urging the Government to incentivise sectors like renewable energy. D’ambrosio will meet with Angus Taylor on Friday to go head to head about the end of coal in Australia.

“Victoria won’t support Coal-Keeper payments”

“Vicotria remains committed to clean energy investment and jobs.”

Lily D’Ambrosio, Victorian Energy Minister

Who will prevail?

The Victorian Government has been criticised for opposing “Coal-Keeper” subsidies to extend the life of coal plants. A new “capacity mechanism” aims to offer financial incentives to encourage the construction of power sources and prevent the premature closure of coal generators.

Victoria’s stance on coal is setting up a clash at the national cabinet meeting of energy ministers. It will be D’ambrosio versus Taylor. Who will prevail?

This all comes after Victorian government provided secret financial backing in March to ensure EnergyAustralia’s Yallourn plant stays in the state’s power system until 2028.

The Victorian Government refuses to release further details on this, but D’ambrosio is standing strong on her views.

NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean, an outspoken critic of the Morrison government’s climate change ambition, has given his preliminary backing to the plan but did caution he was worried about the costs.

The capacity mechanism has been endorsed by the Australian Workers’ Union and the CFMEU.

Renewable energy companies and investors including the powerful Clean Energy Investor Group say the move will kill investment in new supplies and drive up costs for consumers by subsidising old coal plants.

“There’s been no leadership from a national level”

Lily D’Ambrosio, Victorian Energy Minister

“You can’t transition tomorrow, what you can do is have a proper plan.”

“Sending a clear message to the market this energy will no longer be there, invest in new technology, invest in replacement energy.”

Lily D’Ambrosio, Victorian Energy Minister

“This coal keeper program, this is a carbon tax- but it’s going to give money to the coal-fired power stations.”

Scott Hamilton, Ticker Climate co-host 

 

 

You can watch the full episode of ticker climate here

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Climate

China to stop building coal power plants abroad

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China to stop building coal power plants abroad

China’s pledge to stop building coal-fired power plants overseas could cull $50 billion of investment as it slashes future carbon emissions, analysts said, although Beijing’s own domestic coal program is still propping up the dirty fossil fuel

China’s President Xi Jinping has declared that his country stop building new energy projects abroad that use coal, a move that was immediately welcomed by the United States and the head of the United Nations’ climate change conference.

The announcement at the UN General Assembly could affect 44 coal plants earmarked for Chinese state financing, totalling $50 billion, according to Global Energy Monitor, a U.S. think tank.

That has the potential to reduce future carbon dioxide emissions by 200 million tonnes a year, the think tank told Reuters.

Environmental groups said it would force big coal financiers like the Bank of China, linked with 10 gigawatts of overseas coal power capacity, to draw up a timetable to withdraw from the sector.

Beijing is the largest source of financing for coal power plants globally

Xi’s announcement will have a far-reaching impact on coal power expansion plans in countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam and South Africa.

However, Xi’s carefully worded statement revealed few details and left room for existing projects to continue.

There are already more than 20 Chinese financed coal-fired power units under construction in the world, according to data from the Boston University Global Development Policy Center.

Another 17 are in the planning stage.

The new commitment also doesn’t address China’s plans to expand its own coal-fired power plants.

According to a report published by a European think tank, China’s domestic program accounts for more than half of all the coal-powered plants under construction through the world.

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