Deputy PM Michael McCormack says policy will not change based on ‘some sort of report’
'The Australian government has rejected the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report’s call to phase out coal power by 2050, claiming renewable energy cannot replace baseload coal power.
The deputy prime minister, Michael McCormack, said Australia should “absolutely” continue to use and exploit its coal reserves, despite the IPCC’s dire warnings the world has just 12 years to avoid climate change catastrophe.
He said the government would not change policy “just because somebody might suggest that some sort of report is the way we need to follow and everything that we should do”.
The Labor leader, Bill Shorten, also did not commit to the total phase-out of coal, but called for more renewable energy.
Since the former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull abandoned the emissions reduction component of the Coalition’s national energy guarantee, Australia has been left without a policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020, when the renewable energy target will expire.
The prime minister, Scott Morrison, has claimed Australia will meet its Paris climate agreement targets of reducing emissions by 26% to 28% on 2005 levels by 2030 “in a canter”. The claim is contradicted by environment department figures showing emissions are rising and advice from the Energy Security Board that Australia will fall short under a business-as-usual scenario.
The IPCC report held particularly sobering news for Australia, that holding warming to 1.5C rather than 2C would probably be the difference between the survival of some Great Barrier Reef coral and its complete decline.'
Read more: Australian government backs coal in defiance of IPCC climate warning