Prof Sinclair Davidson:
"The Australian Greens want to phase out the coal mining economy here in Australia. They believe it is dirty industry, some of them have even described it as being a rogue industry which is an extraordinary statement to make. And they have a series of policies which begin with no new coal mines no expansion of existing coal mines and you would find very quickly that coal mines in Australia would close down and we would no longer be exporting coal to the rest of the world. So the first thing that I did was actually have a look at the impact of the coal economy on the Australian economy and you actually find that it's pretty large and it's pretty embedded into our economy and embedded into our prosperity. The other thing that I looked at was well what would happen if Australia were to unilaterally stop producing coal and simply tell all Australian coal consumers they have to source their coal elsewhere? Would this actually lead to less coal being consumed around the world? And the answer quite frankly is no. There is actually a very competitive global market for coal and all that would happen is that other coal producers would expand their production and would expand their exports of coal. And so we would see that we would be impoverishing ourselves for no actual reduction in the amount of coal consumption around the world. Now to be sure there would be temporary dislocations as people scrambled to find alternative sources of coal and there would be a temporary increase in the price of coal in the short run. And that would simply mean that there would be a greater incentive for people to go and find more coal reserves and dig them up and sell them. So the market would actually respond very quickly to Australia exiting the market and there would be no change in coal consumption around the world, simply a whole bunch of Australians would be a lot poorer as a result of this decision. So the Greens' desire to shut down the coal industry would simply make us poorer and not make the world a better place and would put "better"
into scare quotes because I don't think it would be a better place. Certainly not make the world a better place from their own perspective. So this is almost an attempt to sabotage the Australian economy for no gain whatsoever and I think most people would be very unhappy. That's certainly not what they would want to happen, they'd expect to happen and I think our Green friends, they're either economically ignorant or they are trying to sabotage our own prosperity. And either one of those is not a good outcome for Australia."
Categories: Australia Energy Issues
, Climate Change
, Coal in Australia
, Global Markets
Author: Prof. Sinclair Davidson