China's decision to stop funding overseas coal projects represented a potential threat to the Hunter's multi-billion dollar coal export industry, NSW Environment and Energy Minister Matt Kean said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping's announcement at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday has fuelled further uncertainty about the role of coal in the Hunter's economic future.
NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean said the Chinese announcement should be seen as a warning signal for the industry, which injected $6.2 billion into the Hunter economy last financial year.
"What we saw yesterday was a huge market for our coal potentially come under threat.
"My view is that we should continue to export as much coal as we can while the markets are demanding that product but we also need to prepare for a future where those international markets will be demanding cleaner ways to power their economies with materials built with cleaner inputs to build their economics."