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Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Page: 937

Climate Change


Mr WOOD (La Trobe) (14:45): My question is to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Will the minister advise the House how high-efficiency, low-emissions coal technology is helping countries meet their Paris Agreement targets? Is the minister aware of any alternative approaches that would increase cost-of-living pressures for hardworking families?


Ms JULIE BISHOP (CurtinMinister for Foreign Affairs) (14:46): I thank the member for La Trobe for his question. I know he recognises the importance of reliable energy to ensure that jobs are maintained and the economy in his electorate continues to grow. It is a fact that fossil fuels, including coal, will remain a vital source of power generation around the world for years to come. According to the International Energy Agency, power generation based on coal-fired power stations and fossil fuels has actually increased over the period from the 1970s to today. It was about 38 per cent of global power generation in the 1970s. Over 41 per cent of power generation comes from coal usage now. According to the International Energy Agency, that will increase in the years to come, particularly in developing countries.

Many countries have embraced new technology in order to ensure that their use of coal is efficient and clean. Under this new technology of high-efficiency, low-emissions, countries are able to generate electricity. It is cheap, it is reliable, but it also helps reduce their carbon emissions. According to the International Energy Agency Clean Coal Centre in London, in a report in September 2015, this new HELE technology—the high-efficiency, low-emissions technology—in 10 Asian economies has already reduced carbon emissions by some 479 million tonnes per year. The assessment by the International Energy Agency Clean Coal Centre in London is: if all the new power stations embracing high-efficiency, low-emissions technology had been ultra, super critical, the decrease in emissions would have been not 479 million tonnes a year but over two billion tonnes a year.

Nations around the world are embracing sensible, economically responsible technologies not only to grow their economies but also to meet their Paris agreements. But not the Australian Labor Party. Their obsession with a 50 per cent renewable energy target is destroying business confidence in South Australia, threatening jobs and threatening industries. South Australia is exhibit A. The Labor Party can be in denial, but there is power blackout after power blackout because of their ideology. There used to be an old line in South Australia under Labor governments—'Last person out, turn off the lights.' That is now Labor's national energy policy.