The United Nations has recently sounded alarms regarding the impact of climate change on the Australian economy. UN’s special counselor on climate change, Selwin Hart has advised that the Australian government should step up its efforts to phase out coal, to prevent economic turmoil in the country.
As per sources, Australia is heavily dependent on coal-fired power which makes it the world's major carbon emitters per capita. However, the country's new deputy PM has cast shadow on fossil fuel industries that are driven towards 2050 net-zero emissions, claiming that tougher emissions action would cost jobs.
Speaking on which, Mr. Hart said in a lecture at the Australian National University that they realize the importance of coal and other fossil fuels to the Australia's economy. However, mining only accounts for about 2% of total jobs and having a larger, more honest, and logical discourse about what is in Australia's best interests is important.
The United Nations has recommended that coal should be phased out by 2030 in nations that are members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, including Australia.
Incidentally, the Group of 20 leading economies' energy and environment ministers failed to reach an agreement in July to phase out coal by 2025. However, some experts believe there is a prospect for success at the United Nations climate negotiations in Glasgow in November.
Scott Morrison, Australia’s Prime Minister, has stated that the country is on track to achieve net-zero carbon emissions but has not set a deadline.
Before the Glasgow negotiations, he said that Australia would adjust its 2030 emissions predictions.
Most developed countries have committed to a net-zero emissions target by 2050.
According to Mr. Hart, the Australian government should ‘seize the moment’ and move to renewable energy. He further added that if the world does not move rapidly to phase out coal, climate change will cause havoc across the Australian economy, from agriculture to tourism, and across the services sector.