20 June 2013: Today’s Australian Coal Association report reflects an industry trying to maintain its profits and relevancy as it faces well-founded fears that it has a limited future, says Greenpeace Australia.
“The Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stone - it ended because we came up with better ideas. Similarly the age of coal is in a sunset phase because climate change scientists conclude it can’t continue and renewables provide a smarter, more environmentally friendly alternative,” said Greenpeace Head of Campaigns Ben Pearson.
“Clinging to carbon capture and storage as a saviour for the world’s climate change challenge shows the coal industry’s desperation. The technology is commercially unviable and will take decades to get off the ground, while solar and wind is being shown to be viable in Germany, Spain and China.
“China’s wind power production increased more than coal production in 2012. German solar power plants are creating enough power to meet up to a third of the country’s electricity needs.
“The Australian Coal Association has cynically grabbed hold of the IEA Redrawing the Climate-Energy Map report and skewed its findings to justify continued investment in fossil fuels.
“The IEA admits urgent action is needed before 2020 if we are to keep the two degree goal in sight. It is disappointing that the Australian Coal Association is distorting the IEA report to meet its own ends.
“This week’s report by Australia’s Climate Commission, calling for 80 per cent of fossil fuel reserves to stay underground, is the key to maintaining a safe climate.
“Queensland Premier Campbell Newman is deluded in claiming a ‘secret alliance’ of NGOs, the Greens and the Climate Commission calling for an end to coal.
“These groups are walking side by side with every credible scientific body on the planet, the IEA, the World Bank and many others who are also backing a shift away from coal. Meanwhile the ACA is left talking to itself.
“It’s time for the Australian government to develop a serious plan for a transition away from coal to renewables,” Mr Pearson said.
Contact: Ben Pearson 0424 575 111