Coal hits record high

New figures showed that coal use hit a record level this year. Photo supplied by Darren Pateman/AAP.

In the same week that the latest climate change conference was (once again) predicting the demise of coal, new figures showed that coal use hit a record level this year.

That beats last year’s record figures.

Back in 2020, the International Energy Agency claimed that coal use had peaked in 2013.

It is getting to the point that whatever the energy experts predict will happen, you can be sure that the opposite will occur.

But back to that climate conference. There was lots of hoopla that the latest agreement was “historic” calling for a transition away from coal (at least of the unabated kind).

However, an important detail was missed in the western media reports on the so-called global agreement.

China, India and Indonesia did not sign the agreement to end coal. They only account for 70 per cent of world coal production!

The latest climate conference at least clarifies what this all means.

The developed world will handicap its industrial and economic strength by signing up to pointless commitments to shut down its energy production.

Meanwhile the developing world will just do what it likes and take our manufacturing jobs.

Previous agreements signed by all countries held out the fig leaf of cooperation all while most countries simply ignored their commitments.

At least now the climate emperor has been shown to have no clothes.

Major coal producing countries are refusing to sign, showing that they will not reduce their own emissions.

I was in India last week and there is a huge gap between what the Australian Government says and what India is doing.

This Labor Government constantly promises us new jobs in hydrogen while working towards shutting down our coal industry.

The idea is that countries like India will pay a premium for the “green” energy of hydrogen to replace their own coal use.

This is a complete fantasy. India is a country desperate to industrialise and catch up to the rest of the world.

No one can blame them when 30 per cent of Indians have no access to clean energy for cooking and their country is blanketed by the pollution caused by the use of inefficient fuels.

(Most do not understand that modern coal power stations cut this type of pollution as they burn higher quality fuels and scrub the exhaust gases to remove soot and other pollutants.)

India famously will not pay more for energy than it needs.

Everyone knows that it is a price sensitive market.

Hydrogen is at least 10 times more expensive than coal, and that is when it is made from coal!

When you use renewable energy the costs are even higher.

There is zero chance that India will pay any kind of premium that would risk it providing reliable power to its people.

I caught up with a steel producer there that is currently building what will be the world’s largest steel plant.

He told me that India uses 60 million tonnes of steel making (that is coking) coal a year and it will need another 60 million tonnes to meet its steel production targets.

Queensland has the best coking coal in the world but India has been getting more and more coal from Russia this year.

Russia is aggressively marketing its coal and gas to India while building new rail lines and gas pipelines to the subcontinent.

Even if we shut down all our coal mines in Queensland it will not change the temperature one bit if India and China keep opening up new coal fired power stations.

Why should we put people out of a job in Australia if it won’t even do anything for the environment.

Instead of putting people out of work it is time for Australia to pull out of these pointless climate agreements.