Australia continues to rely on coal mining despite expert warnings about climate change. Prime Minister Scott Morrison stressed on Thursday that Australian energy exports are necessary to supply developing countries. He predicted that in the future, technology would make it possible to burn them “in a much more climate-friendly way”.
Meanwhile, researchers warned in a study published this week in the journal Nature that 89 percent of the world’s coal reserves and 95 percent of Australia’s share would have to remain untouched. Such reluctance would still only offer a 50 percent chance of limiting global warming, as in the Paris climate agreement, to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level, if possible.
“We will continue to mine the resources that we can sell on the world market,” replied Morrison at a press conference when asked about an “expiration date” for coal mining.
Costs of climate change
Environmentalists warn that inaction on climate change could cost the Australian economy billions as the country suffers from increasingly violent bushfires, storms and floods. But Canberra refuses to set a net zero emissions target – and remains one of the world’s largest exporters of fossil fuels.