Australia: Paris Climate Deal Doesn’t Stop Us Building New Coal Plants

  • Date: 07/09/18
  • The Guardian

Australia does not need to quit the Paris climate agreement because our commitments are non-binding, and new coal plants can continue to be constructed, according to the resources minister, Matt Canavan.

Australia does not need to quit the Paris climate agreement because our commitments are non-binding, and new coal plants can continue to be constructed, according to the resources minister, Matt Canavan.

Canavan told Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones on Friday he had never been to Paris, and was “happy to leave the Champs-Élysées for others”, but people needed to be clear the treaty Tony Abbott committed Australia to in 2015 “doesn’t actually bind us to anything in particular”.

Abbott said in 2015, when he announced Australia would be signing up, that the government was making a “definite commitment” to a 26% reduction in emissions by 2030 and “with the circumstances that we think will apply … we can go up to 28%”.

But Canavan said on Friday the Paris commitment was a three-page document that allowed Australia flexibility to build new coal plants. The resources minister said rather than focusing on the situation in 2030, “what I want to focus on is solving the crisis we have in energy today”.

“We have to build power stations. There’s nothing in the [Paris] agreement that would stop us building power stations, including coal-fired power stations,” Canavan said.

“We need new ones”.

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