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Banning coal exports would make climate change worse: Anthony Albanese

Steve Price
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Anthony Albanese says stopping Australia’s coal exports would only make climate change worse.

The Labor leader is on a tour of regional Queensland, trying to win back voters after the disastrous results at the May election.

A review of the party’s strategy shows it had a confused position on mining.

Mr Albanese is determined to set things straight, telling Steve Price climate change is real but shutting down coal exports isn’t the way to tackle it.

“If we were to stop exporting coal tomorrow that would just lead to a displacement with more coal being bought from all the places in the world.

“We’re not unique in having coal assets and that would likely lead to an actual increase in global emissions because much of our coal is much better quality than is available from the alternatives.”

The Opposition leader says we need a “sensible” approach to dealing with emissions, arguing coal will be phased out by the market anyway.

“I think, very clearly, it’s obvious to all there won’t be a new coal-fired power built in Australia.

“The market is indicating that just won’t happen. There’s nothing stopping it at all except for the economics.”

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Mr Albanese has also hit out at those linking the ongoing bushfire emergency to climate change, saying now is not the time.

The immediate priority needs to be to look after people’s safety and make sure people are listening to those emergency warnings, we need to make sure that we protect property.

“The truth is, the scientists did warn us that climate change would lead to a longer bushfire season and more intensity in it.

“You can’t draw any specific extreme weather event and say, ‘that is because of climate change’.

“What you can point towards is the trend and, quite clearly, the trends are what the scientists told us they would be.

“But the priority has to be looking after people at the moment.”