Prime Minister Scott Morrison has rejected calls from radical climate change activists to ban the export of coal – an industry worth $52billion a year. For the first time since the early 1970s, Australia exports are worth more than imports, thanks to strong demand from China and India for this electricity-generating commodity.
Radical climate change activists, inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, want Australia to immediately cease exporting coal, as the world’s two most populated nations build new coal-fired power stations – with Australian coal.
They stormed the Prime Minister’s Kirribilli House residence in Sydney last week, as he holidayed in Hawaii, demanding that he ban the fossil fuel. Doing so would cost Australia more than $52billion and jeopardise the jobs of 50,000 people involved in coal mining.
Four days after those demonstrations, Mr Morrison vowed those climate protesters would not be dictating energy or trade policy. ‘I never panic,’ he told the Sunrise program on Monday morning.
‘I don’t think panicking is to way to manage anything and the urge for panic that has come from some, often politically motivated, to pursue a particular agenda is not something I’m ever intimidated by or distracted by.’