Idealism, not Market, Drives Coal Decisions: Australian Resources Minister

Melbourne — Australia’s Minister of Resources Keith Pitt told Reuters Thursday that global regulators, banks and investors are making ideological investment decisions rather than market-based investment decisions on coal.

Pitt’s National Party, a junior member of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s coalition government and representing many Australians in coal-producing regions, has set a net zero carbon emission target by 2050 in the world’s largest coal exporter. Refused to support.

Due to National’s position, Morrison no longer promises to attend the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow next month. There, world leaders will come together to set further climate goals following the groundbreaking Paris Agreement of 2015.

Pitt said record highs in fuel need to support Australia’s second most profitable exports, with financial firms and insurance companies selling from the industry making economic decisions. He said it shows that he has not.

“NS [financial] The market has not made a viable decision, it has made an ideological decision, “Pitt said. “Well, if it was a decision based solely on what the forecast was, then the demand is rising, the forecast is rising.”

In return for the party’s support for the 2050 net zero emissions target, Pitt proposed that the government set up an A $ 250 billion ($ 180 billion) loan facility in the industry to fill the shortage of private funding.

Pitt didn’t say what the party was going to do, but the National Party will meet this weekend to decide whether to support the 2050 goal.

“I would like to be very clear to Australian and global banks. They have not set any domestic policy for this country,” he said.

“We need to support these industries, support the financial wealth and growth of Australians, and provide jobs to Australians.”

According to Pitt, Australia’s coal demand will increase until about 2030, based on the pipeline of new coal-fired power plants and the demand for high-energy coal for steelmaking in Australia, and then about 40 from its peak by 2050. It is expected to decrease by%.

Citing figures from the International Energy Agency, Pitt said that about 140 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired power plants are under construction, with more than 400 GW at various stages of the plan.

Pitt downplayed alternative energy sources that would shift the world from coal and other fuels for power generation.

The development of the hydrogen market will take decades, but examples of government misconversions have been seen in the UK and European energy crises where electricity costs were “over the roof”, with intermittent renewable energy. Shows that does not work, he said.

In contrast to Pitt’s stance, central bank leaders face rising cost of capital and offshore fund sales on Thursday if Australia does not appear to be doing more to deal with climate change. He said he could.

Guy Debel, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), pointed to an isolated example of divestments from Australia due to climate risk and said the potential for more important divestments is increasing. ..

But Pitt said the RBA should “stick to their knitting.”

“They need to worry about what’s happening in terms of potential inflation and make sure our economy is strong and capable of paying Australian bills.”

Melanie Burton