Despite briefly boasting more than 50% renewable power generation on its national grid this year, Australia is struggling to move on from an energy, labour and political market built on a 1950s coal-based model.
Even as eastern Australia is consumed by flames after years of drought, the New South Wales parliament is today trying to push through a law to stop proposed coal mines from having to examine the carbon impact of the coal they’re exporting.
And they’re exporting a lot.
Australia’s coal export market is the most lucrative on the planet, valued at £36 billion.
Three people have been killed, over 150 homes destroyed, Sydney faces ‘catastrophic’ conditions, and at least 45 of the 65 fires burning through the region are out of control.
Yet when Australian Green MPs suggest the industry is on the wrong side of history, they get called ‘raving loonies’ by the Deputy Prime Minister.
Australia is now among the very worst G20 keepers of promises made in the Paris Climate Accord.
It plans seven giant new opencast pits for Queensland, even as the bush to the east is incinerated by drought caused by climate change, caused by carbon emission caused – in part – by coal.