Australia has rejected a call by scientists to phase out coal use by 2050 to prevent the world overshooting targets in the Paris Climate Change agreement with potentially disastrous consequences. The world’s biggest coal exporter on Tuesday said it would be “irresponsible” to comply with the recommendation by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to stop using coal to generate electricity.
Canberra also reiterated its priority is to cut domestic electricity prices rather than curb greenhouse gas emissions, which have risen for four consecutive years. “To say that it [coal] has to be phased out by 2050 is drawing a very long bow,” said Melissa Price, Australia’s environment minister, who previously worked in the mining industry. “I just don’t know how you could say by 2050 that you’re not going to have the technology that’s going to enable good, clean technology when it comes to coal. That would be irresponsible of us.”