The value of Australia’s coal exports in 2019 was approximately $69 billion. The value of all Australian exports in the same period were approximately $284 billion. The value of coal exported to China in 2019 was around $13 billion against total Australian exports to China of $111 billion. Figures are used from 2019 because of the effect of COVID in 2020, the Chinese ban on Australian coal, which has distorted the 2020 figures, and incomplete data available for 2020. (Sources: ABS, DFAT, ABC & Statista)
The above figures vary from source to source, but are considered reasonably accurate.
Two things that show up from the figures –
- If Australia was to stop exporting coal the Australian economy as it is right now would be severely effected.
- Likewise, if China continues to impose sanctions on some Australian imports, or broadens the existing bans, the Australian economy would suffer.
However, it doesn’t have to be like this.
There is growing pressure and agitation from all over the world to stop using fossil fuels, especially coal. The demise of coal is inevitable regardless of how often Morrison and his ministers tell us otherwise. The two major political parties that have governed Australia over the past 20 or so years have done very little to offset the effects that the demise of coal will have on the Australian economy and our standard of living. Both the conservative Liberal and National Parties and the Labor Party have bowed to factions within their respective ranks – the conservatives to their mining masters, and Labor to some unions that have appeared to be ignorant of the obvious!
Instead of listening to our Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor as the voice of Santos and others advocating the development of suspect technologies such as carbon capture and storage, which is not a clean energy technology, start agitating for change. We are starting with a handicap of a number of years and that will take some catching up.
If there is a good independent candidate standing for election in your electorate, have a good look at them and unless the candidate is completely incompetent, vote for them – you really don’t have much to lose, do you?
Australia is a wealthy, relatively well educated country. We still have a reasonably clean environment, and we know how to grow clean, green produce that the rest of the world would just love to have. With all that we have and with the help of regenerative farming techniques and the development of clean energy methods we really can be a world beater – without coal!