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Scott Morrison the Kim Jong-Un of climate as 75% of coal exports set to collapse

Media Release
Adam Bandt 29 Oct 2020

Scott Morrison is isolating Australia from the world and our trading partners with his stubborn refusal to accept the need to decarbonise and confront the imminent collapse of 75% of Australia’s thermal coal export market, said Greens Leader, Adam Bandt.

Australia’s top 3 coal buyers - Japan, China and South Korea - have all committed to net-zero emissions targets by 2050 or 2060. To reach those targets, they will have to decarbonise their electricity sectors even earlier, as zero-emissions electricity is key to enabling zero-emissions transport and industry.

Together these countries buy 75% of Australia’s thermal coal:

  • Japan buys 35%;
  • China buys 24%; and
  • South Korea buys 16%. 

Mr Bandt also said that Liberal and Labor needed stronger 2030 targets for Australia to have any credibility at next year’s Glasgow climate summit.

“Scott Morrison is the Kim Jong-Un of climate, isolating Australia from the rest of the world and desperately trying to create his own reality,” Mr Bandt said.

“The global climate movement is succeeding and thermal coal is on the way out. 75% of Australia’s thermal coal market will disappear in a decade or two.”

“Australia urgently needs a Green New Deal transition plan to create new export industries in green hydrogen and green steel, and to support coal workers and communities about to lose their livelihoods because of Scott Morrison’s denial.”

“If Biden wins, the US will be going to net-zero emissions electricity in 15 years. This will be a massive game changer for the climate and Scott Morrison but also Labor will be under massive pressure to go further.

“Instead of Trump-like chest-beating about other countries, the Prime Minister should phase out thermal coal exports over 10 years, put a levy on these exports and use the funds to build a better future and secure jobs for coal communities.” 

“We are in a climate emergency and what we do over the next decade matters more than what we do in 2040 or 2050. Australia’s current targets are not consistent with limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees. If Liberal and Labor don’t adopt stronger 2030 targets, they are giving up on the Paris Agreement,” Bandt said.

The Greens updated 2030 and net zero targets, based on Climate Change Authority model – available here

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