The end of coal? Why investors aren’t buying the myth of the industry’s ‘renaissance’

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At the world’s biggest coal export port in Newcastle, no China-bound ships are waiting or scheduled to load before Christmas

Three years ago, pictures of bulk carriers queued off the coast of Mackay in central Queensland were framed as evidence of a “renaissance” in the coal industry.

There were more than 70 coal ships in the offshore gridlock in December 2017. This year there are just 12 waiting – equalling a record low mark set at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

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