Coal data proof our climate policy is failing

14.07.16 By

New government data that shows electricity generation from coal has barely budged over the last three years is proof that Australia is making little progress on tackling climate change, the Climate Council said today.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows coal’s market share has barely moved, slipping only marginally from 65.3 per cent to 64.9 per cent over the past three years of the survey.

The burning of coal for electricity is one of the major drivers of climate change.

Renewable power generation has increased from 9.6 per cent to 12 per cent, according to the survey.

Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said the true test of a country’s climate policy was whether or not fossil fuel emissions were going down.

“In Australia, emissions from the electricity sector increased 3% last year,” she said.

“But in the U.S, emissions from the electricity sector fell 18% in 2014 and coal-fired power generation fell from 39% in 2014 to 33% in 2015.”

“When electricity generation from coal has barely moved in Australia, it’s a sign of two things. One, the renewable energy industry is not growing at anywhere near the rate we need it to in order to tackle climate change.

“That’s because of the chopping and changing of policy. We’ve got enough renewable energy resources to power the country 500 times over – but we are not capitalising on it.

‘And two, it’s a sign that there is our climate policy is not robust enough to reduce emissions at the source.

“We must introduce climate policy which reduces our fossil fuel emissions if we are to effectively tackle climate change and protect the Great Barrier Reef.”

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