Coal will remain a significant contributor to the Australian economy well beyond 2030 as global demand continues to grow, Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt said.
Pitt said in a statement seen on Tuesday that the latest export figures show the reports of coal’s impending death are greatly exaggerated and its future is assured well beyond 2030.
“The future of this crucial industry will be decided by the Australian Government, not a foreign body that wants to shut it down costing thousands of jobs and billions of export dollars for our economy,” he said, adding that in the three months to July this year, coal exports soared to $12.5 billion, which is a 26 per cent increase on the previous quarter.
While coal remains Australia’s second-largest export, Australia accounts for six per cent of the world’s total annual production behind China (50%), India (10%) and Indonesia (7%).
Coal prices are extremely strong, which reflects the strong global demand for our high quality thermal and metallurgical coal, the minister said.
“Coal consumption throughout Asia is forecast by the International Energy Agency to grow over the next decade to meet the energy demands of countries like China, India and South Korea,” he added.
According to Pitt, Australia has an important role to play in meeting that demand and coal will continue to generate billions of dollars in royalties and taxes for state and federal governments, and directly employ over 50,000 Australians.