Premier & Treasurer ignorant on the future of coal exports

MEDIA RELEASE 8 September 2016

A report released today by Wood McKenzie predicts a significant slide of up to 35% in Australian coal exports by 2035, contradicting evidence given by the NSW Premier and Treasurer that coal exports would continue for many decades, possibly 100 to 200 years.

  • The NSW Treasury’s 2016 Intergeneration Report predicted growth in mineral volumes (87% thermal coal) of 1.2% out to 2056
  • When asked when coal exports might end, Treasurer Berejiklian said “If you are asking me in 100 years, 200 years – who knows where technology is taking us?”
  • Premier Mike Baird said coal exports would continue for a “long, long time… I have not got all the reserves proven and probable before me, but I would expect [coal exports will continue] for many decades to come.”

NSW Greens energy and resources spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said:

“Now even Wood McKenzie have recognised that coal is in structural decline, but unfortunately the most senior ministers of the NSW Government do not understand that coal exports must be rapidly curtailed if we are to meet our climate change targets,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“Last week at Estimates hearings I questioned the Premier, Treasurer and Resources Minister, and there seemed to be no recognition that continuing to export and burn large amounts of coal was incompatible with avoiding dangerous climate change.

“The Greens are extremely concerned that the highest levels of the NSW Government are oblivious to the key connection between coal and climate change, and the impacts that climate change will have on the prosperity of NSW. This type of ignorance is negligent.

“Putting both politics and markets aside, the science of climate change concludes that 95% of NSW’s coal reserves should stay in the ground if we are to have a 50% chance of keeping under 2 degrees of global warming.

“Disastrously, the people in charge of NSW and who could make the changes necessary, are ignorant of the science and do not even seem to be paying attention to our state’s chief contribution climate change, which is the most critical issue of this era.”



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