Australian Energy “Green Paper” foresees large increase in coal use: undermines 2° goal and heads towards a 4°C world

Australian Energy “Green Paper” foresees large increase in coal

Date25 September 2014
Open cut coal mine in Anglesea, Australia. ©Takver courtesy Flickr

On 23 September 2014 the Australian Government released a “Green Paper” as part of the development of its new Energy White Paper. The Australian “Green Paper” was released on the same day of the UN Climate Summit in New York which was aiming to build political momentum towards the action needed to limit warming below 2°C.

The “Green Paper” foresees a future strong growth in coal use globally over the next several decades arguing that “Most energy analysts confirm that coal will continue to be a major source of global energy for decades to come”. In particular, the Green Paper assumes rapid increases in coal demand from Asian economies and proposes to align Australian government policies to facilitate accelerated approval of developments to support this.

“Green Paper” lock-in of coal intensive future

In adopting this outlook, the “Green Paper” contributes to an economic commitment, in terms of a “lock-in” of legislation and investment patterns that have the potential for a strong negative effect on achieving an effective global agreement to limiting warming below 2°C. Read the reaction of the Climate Action Tracker team here.