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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 13475

Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Carmichael Coal Mine


Mr Bandt asked the Prime Minister, in writing, on 22 October 2015:

My question is to the Prime Minister. When all the available coal in the Carmichael coalmine is dug up and burnt, how much greenhouse gas pollution will it produce? How many billions of tonnes, and what proportion is that of the remaining global carbon budget?


Mr Turnbull: I am advised that the answer to the member's question is:

The possible quantity of emissions additional to current global emissions depends on a range of variables that influence the estimate, including whether the coal replaces higher emissions coal provided by other suppliers, whether the coal is used as a substitute for other energy sources, and the efficiency of the power plants in which it is used.

Without specific detail about those factors it is not possible to accurately determine the actual emissions from the coal produced from the Adani project.

International multilateral agreements provide mechanisms to address climate change globally. Under those agreements, nations using the mine ' s coal will be responsible for addressing the emissions from that coal.

If the Carmichael mine did not proceed, India would still have to source coal for their increasing energy needs, potentially lower quality, higher emissions coal, leading to worse climate change outcomes.

We would miss out on jobs and economic benefits with potentially worse outcomes for climate change and global development.

Energy limits global development. It is a critical ingredient in achieving development goals, alleviating hunger and promoting prosperity, particularly in developing and emerging economies. Coal has a part to in the energy mix to support that development.

Technology improvement will also have a major influence. For example, the emissions from new high efficiency low emission (HELE) coal fired power plants can be up to 40 per cent less than those from the common low efficiency (subcritical) coal fired plants.

Other technologies will improve too with improvements in renewable, nuclear and gas powered generation potentially contributing to India ' s energy future.

The energy sector is both disruptive and disrupted, and consequently it is prudent to have all options open.