Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Coal is part of the solution in transition to new energy sources

By Graham Young - posted Wednesday, 6 March 2019


The cowardice of Australia's largest coal miner Glencore in bowing to activist pressure and capping its coal production torches the reputation of coal by implying coal mining is unethical.

This is grossly unfair to the industry and those who work in it, or use its products, which is all of us. The ethical case against coal is weak.

Yes, coal produces CO2, which is a greenhouse gas, but modern living is so dependent on electricity, and electricity so dependent on coal, that you just can't abolish it.

Advertisement

Multiple projections based on the Paris Accord predict that by 2040 we will still be burning about as much coal as we are now. Coal is part of the solution to a transition to new energy sources.

What activists have decided is that they know better and they will try to take energy decisions away from the sovereign governments of the world. This is a subversion of international norms, and the rule of law.

Activists are anti-democratic and in telling developing countries how to run their economies, neo-colonial.

Their actions will also cause more harm than the status quo, because they will actually increase emissions.

There is plenty of coal in the world, but ours causes the lowest emissions. Coal importers will simply shift to higher emissions sources, increasing greenhouse gases. If coal were abolished tomorrow that would also increase poverty and misery.

Coal makes up $67 billion of Australian export income and, in Queensland, contributes about $3.8 billion in royalties to state revenue. That's a lot of jobs, and a heap of hospitals, schools and police stations.

Advertisement

Abandoning coal will devastate regional areas and state budgets, and again, for no tangible gain.

But coal is more deeply embedded in modern life than that. Electricity is the key to modern civilisation, and coal contributes about 40 per cent to its generation at the moment.

Even allowing for rapid growth in renewables, projections put coal at about 30 per cent of generation in 20 years' time, and at a similar volume to now.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

This article was first published by the Courier Mail.



Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

10 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Graham Young is chief editor and the publisher of On Line Opinion. He is executive director of the Australian Institute for Progress, an Australian think tank based in Brisbane, and the publisher of On Line Opinion.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Graham Young

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Graham Young
Article Tools
Comment 10 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy