Failure to model costs of climate change to coal, gas ‘beggars belief’

Australia’s 40-year economic outlook is forecasting dwindling demand for some of the nation’s most valuable exports including coal and natural gas after China, Japan and South Korea unveiled targets to achieve net-zero emissions.

But prominent think tank the Grattan Institute on Monday said it “beggars belief” that the Morrison government’s modelling failed to make projections about the scale of loss of export earnings or the impacts from global warming such as drought and natural disasters.

The federal government’s Intergenerational Report 2021 says Australia’s coal and gas exports are under threat from global climate commitments.

The federal government’s Intergenerational Report 2021 says Australia’s coal and gas exports are under threat from global climate commitments. CREDIT:ROB HOMER

Australia’s mining and energy exports are expected to have hit a record-high of $310 billion this financial year. The nation’s top export, iron ore, accounted for an all-time-high $149 billion, while fossil fuel exports of coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG) together accounted for $71 billion, helping to underpin the economy amid a worsening trade spat with China and a global pandemic.

However, the Treasury’s 2021 Intergenerational Report on Monday warned the emissions-intensive commodities’ export earnings would fall as global efforts to combat climate change accelerated. It noted that countries had committed to net-zero emissions by 2050 including key trading partners Japan and South Korea, while China has committed to carbon neutrality by 2060.

Read the full article published in The Age 29th June 2021