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Australia rebuffs Biden, Boris and the UN and vows to keep mining coal

September 10, 2021
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By Paul Homewood

 

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For the UN climate summit in November in Glasgow to succeed it “must be the COP that consigns coal power to history”, Britain’s climate envoy Alok Sharma has repeatedly stressed. After all, a binding agreement on phasing out coal by 2030 is the main goal of both the Biden administration and UK government.

Today’s developments down under, however, demonstrate once again that their COP26 agenda is almost certain to fail as Australia has become the latest nation to reject the demands for an end to coal.

Australia vowed Thursday to keep mining coal for export and said global demand was rising, rejecting a study that warned nearly all its reserves must stay in the ground to address the climate crisis.

Researchers warned in a study published in the journal Nature this week that 89 percent of global coal reserves — and 95 percent of Australia’s share — must be left untouched.

Such restraint, they said, would still only offer a 50 percent chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — the current global goal.

But Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Thursday Australia’s energy exports were needed to power developing countries, and predicted technology would enable them to be burned “in a much more climate-friendly way” in the future.

“We will keep mining the resources that we’re able to sell on the world market,” Morrison told a news conference when asked if he would put an “expiration date” on the coal mining industry.

“We obviously anticipate that over time world demand for these things may change.”

Under existing agreements, developing countries are able to use Australian resources “well into the future”, Morrison said.

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As the charts below show, whatever the US or EU do regarding coal, it will be no more than a sideshow. It is what happens in Asia, Australia and Russia that matters. And they have made it abundantly clear that coal will carry on playing a vital role in their energy mix for a long time to come.

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BP Energy Review

7 Comments
  1. Eddy Barrows permalink
    September 10, 2021 5:40 pm

    what are these pre industrial levels? Did temperatures not vary in those times and if so do we take an average or a maximum or minimum as the bench mark?

    • Broadlands permalink
      September 11, 2021 1:10 am

      Eddy.. very good question. According to NOAA (and Hadley CRU at East Anglia) the pre-industrial temperature was ~14.0°C (57°F). It has risen all the way up to 14.83°C (58.7°F) in 2016…an increase in degrees C of about 6%. During that same time CO2 rose about 150%…man-made and supposedly to cause that??

      However, according to NASA-GISS in New York (and the UK Met Office?) the temperatures back in 1995 were about the same as those of NOAA in 2016…???

      New York Times… January 1996..direct quote:.

      “The average temperature was 58.7 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the British data, .07 of a degree higher than the previous record, established in 1990. The British figures, based on land and sea measurements around the world, are one of two sets of long-term data by which surface temperature trends are being tracked. The other, maintained by the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, shows the average 1995 temperature at 59.7 degrees, slightly ahead of 1990 as the warmest year since 1866. But the difference is within the margin of sampling error, and the two years essentially finished neck and neck.”

      Again.. the 20th century global mean for NOAA is 14°C… 57°F and that is five degrees warmer than the 20th century mean for the US 48 states…52*F in 1949.

      Is the climate warming, cooling or “none of the above”?

      Confused? It seems that the proverbial pea is kept moving under the same or under a new shell and they need call it a climate crisis and global emergency. Hang on to your wallet no matter what kind of vehicle you are in.

      • Eddy Barrows permalink
        September 11, 2021 11:11 am

        Thank you Broadlands for this explanation, it does cause me much concern to think that the world’s future economic and political future is being jeopardised by those supposed to be governing us in order to reach these vague parameters and I do wonder how many national and local administrators have any inkling of what is really meant when they insist that we must obtain carbon zero status by some future date and if they will have any idea when they reach this utopian nirvana.
        I wonder if I might pose a further question.We are told that the earth has been gradually warming but only over land and in the northern hemisphere since the start of the industrial age and that this is apparently now an eleventh hour worldwide emergency but given that during this period there has been a very large heat creating population growth,millions more potentially heat absorbing and reradiating building developments and vast quantities of machinery working at extremely high temperatures including aircraft is it really surprising that in the northern hemisphere where all this has taken place there should be an increase in mean temperatures?

  2. alexei permalink
    September 10, 2021 5:54 pm

    “Researchers show……” All these articles seem to begin with this vague introduction as if the words themselves were written in stone. They usually fail to show and are rarely if ever challenged as to how the “researchers” came to their conclusions.

  3. M. Fraser permalink
    September 11, 2021 8:11 am

    There’s billions of tonnes of coal under the North Sea, just waiting to be mined, the UK could be world leaders at designing the cleanest of power stations whilst ……..
    Ah, that would have been Drax! Not forgetting Westinghouse (nuclear) flogged off by good ol’ Tony.
    UK government, the experts in shortsightedness!

    • Duker permalink
      September 12, 2021 2:36 am

      Westinghouse was an american firm, taken over by japanese Toshiba nuclear firm who let it go into bankruptcy, still going though in some form.

    • Micky R permalink
      September 13, 2021 7:07 am

      Billions of tonnes? Possibly trillions of tonnes of coal under the UK and under UK coastal waters. It’s extracting it that’s the problem, or rather it’s extracting the energy from the buried coal that’s the problem https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/now-king-coal-set-rule-6923421

      Would be interesting to know what the UK retail price for electricity would currently be if we used coal for the majority of baseload power with no penalties for carbon emissions and no subsidies for renewables.

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