Australian Economy

Greens to push for 2030 deadline to phase out coal power

“The Greens will use our power in the next Parliament to kick the Liberals out and push the next government to join the Powering Past Coal Alliance,” Bandt said in comments ahead of an Australian Institute webinar on Thursday.

“Joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance will be the entry ticket for the next global climate summit in Cairo as well as hosting any future summit here in Australia.”

“We support Labor’s call to host a climate summit here, but if Labor keeps backing new coal mines, the world won’t let it happen.”

The Powering Past Coal Alliance was jointly launched by Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and UK prime minister Boris Johnson at the COP23 conference in 2017, and makes a commitment to phase out the use of coal and coal fired power stations by 2030.

Just under 50 countries have joined the alliance, including several members of the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand. A further 48 sub-national jurisdictions have joined the alliance, including the ACT and the City of Sydney.

But Australia has not joined the alliance, with the Turnbull and Morrison governments refusing  to set a hard deadline for phasing out coal generation.

While Labor is taking more ambitious climate policies to the election, it has also stopped short of setting a date for phasing out coal, and has even suggested it could support the development of new coal mines should they ‘stack up’ environmentally and economically.

Labor has also committed to bidding to host a future round of UN climate talks in Australia, and would offer an opportunity to Pacific region neighbours to co-host the talks in some capacity.

Bandt says the Greens would seek to pressure a future government to recognise the need to end the development of new fossil fuel projects as part of efforts to tackle climate change, with each of the major parties backing the development of new projects.

“Coal and gas are the main cause of the climate crisis. Phasing out coal while supporting coal workers and communities must be at the top of the next government’s agenda,” Bandt says.

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