• Australian resources minister expects coal to play a major role in economy past 2030

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

In further news from Australia this fortnight, federal resources minister Keith Pitt has told the press that “reports of coal’s impending death are greatly exaggerated and its future is assured well beyond 2030”. Mr Pitt made the comments in response to a warning a day earlier from United Nations special adviser on climate change, Selwin Hart, that without greater efforts to cut coal, climate change will significantly damage Australia’s economy. (The UN also wants OECD countries to phase coal out by 2030.) The minister went on to say that the “future of this crucial industry will be decided by the Australian government, not a foreign body that wants to shut it down, costing thousands of jobs and billions of export dollars for our economy.” Such rhetoric is not atypical of the governing Liberal-National Party, which has been in power for 19 of the last 25 years, and exports of coal have recently been booming as many economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, behind the remarks are clear signs the government sees a future away from unabated coal – it is looking to push blue and green hydrogen and ammonia industries, and is also investing in carbon capture and storage development and deployment. Meanwhile, the country’s own coal firing has been falling since about 2008.