By David C. Johnston”It’s not going to get any worse,” said the chief executive of the Australian Coal Association, Tim O’Sullivan.
“We have a lot of capacity to move coal to the market.”
The Association of Australian Coal Producers (AAA), a trade group that represents Australia’s coal industry, says it expects coal production to increase from 3 million tonnes a year to around 6 million by 2045.
The AAUP has said it has no plans to abandon its long-standing target to peak coal production by 2030, which would see the world’s coal-fired power plants shut down by 2035.
But it does have plans to scale back emissions and use less carbon dioxide.
It is also looking at ways to improve efficiency, reduce waste and improve the efficiency of mines.
It has said a carbon tax could be introduced in 2018 and a cap on carbon dioxide emissions would be imposed in 2020.
But while the carbon tax is a key part of the A$5.5 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) project, the AUP has been lobbying hard to avoid a carbon levy on electricity generators.
The AAA said the ACEFC was not the solution and was unlikely to achieve the same levels of investment in coal as was required to reduce carbon emissions.
“The carbon levy is not a viable solution because it will not significantly reduce emissions,” AAA spokesman David Coyle said.
“The carbon tax will be more expensive to implement than other options and it will increase the costs of coal for Australian consumers.”
“The ACEFC is a more sustainable, cost-effective way of meeting emissions targets,” he said.
“But it will require a commitment to ramp up the CO2 emissions reductions over the long-term.”
The AUP says Australia needs to reduce coal generation by 1 million tonnes of CO2 a year and that the price of coal has dropped to $US12 a tonne, about $15 more than the current price of $US20 a tonnes.
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