Ideology, not market, driving coal decisions -Australia resources minister

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MELBOURNE, Oct 14 (Businesshala) – Global regulators, banks and investors are making ideological rather than market-based investment decisions around coal, which will still have solid demand in the coming decades, Australia’s Resources Minister Keith Pitt told Businesshala on Thursday. Told.

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The Pitts National Party, a junior member of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s governing coalition that represents many Australians in coal-producing districts, has pledged to support a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050 for the world’s largest coal-exporting country. has refused.

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National’s status has prevented Morrison from committing to attending the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, where global leaders will meet next month to set further climate goals that follow the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Pitt said record high prices for the fuel suggest Australia’s second most lucrative exports should be supported and that financiers and insurers who have pulled out of the industry are not making decisions based on economics.

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“The (financial) market is not making a feasibility decision, they are making a conceptual decision,” Pitt said. “If it was purely a decision of what they think the forecasts are, well, demand is going up, forecasts are going up.”

Pitt has proposed setting up a government-run $250 billion ($180 billion) loan facility for industry to replace a lack of private financing in exchange for supporting the 2050 net-zero emissions target.

The National Party will meet later this week to support the 2050 goal, although Pitt did not specify what the party plans to do.

“I want to be very clear to the banks of Australia and the banks of the world, they do not set domestic policy in this country,” he said.

“We need to support those industries and support Australia’s economic wealth and development and provide jobs for Australians.”

Australia expects coal demand to rise by about 2030 and then fall by about 40% from that peak by 2050, Pitt said, adding to the pipeline of new coal-fired power plants and ready demand for Australia’s high-energy steelmaking coal. on the basis of.

Pitt, citing International Energy Agency data, said about 140 gigawatts (GW) of coal plants are under construction and more than 400 GW are in various stages of planning.

Pitt underestimated alternative energy sources that would shift the world away from more polluting fuels for electricity generation such as coal.

Hydrogen markets will take decades to develop, he said, while examples of governments getting the energy transition wrong can be seen in the UK and European energy crises where electricity costs were “through the roof”, indicating that intermittent Taxes do not work renewable.

“There isn’t a single solar panel in the world that works in the dark. Quite simply if you want cheap reliable electricity, this isn’t the way to do it,” Pitt said.

Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Christian Schmollinger


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