New mines won’t boost world demand for Australian coal — but they will cannibalise jobs from existing coalmines
The New South Wales government is simultaneously committed to a net-zero emissions target for 2050 at the same time as new coalmines in the Hunter Valley with the capacity to produce 10 times more coal than Adani’s Carmichael mine are being proposed by the industry. Welcome to the topsy turvy world of Australian climate policy.
Australia is the third-largest exporter of fossil fuels, behind only Saudi Arabia and Russia. But because of the way that international accounting rules for greenhouse gas emissions work, the emissions from burning the enormous amounts of coal and gas we export do not “count” towards Australia’s emissions. When Australia exports iron ore and coal to be turned into steel, cars and fridges that are sent back to Australia, it’s China that gets blamed for the emissions, not Australia. Cool, huh?