Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has assured the resources industry that the country will remain a major exporter of fossil fuels under his leadership.
In a speech to the Australian Minerals Industry Parliamentary dinner, Albanese said the federal government would work with the industry to lower its emissions but had no intention to limit coal and gas exports.
However, he said Australia would look to increase exports of alternative renewable energy sources such as hydrogen as the world transitions away from fossil fuels, reports Xinhua news agency
“Australia will continue to be a trusted and stable supplier of energy and resources to our key trading partners,” he said.
“As we work with other nations to reduce emissions globally, we will continue to be a reliable provider of energy.”
Australia is among the largest exporters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world, with a record 80.9 million tonnes sent overseas in 2021, according to consultancy EnergyQuest.
The resources industry posted a record A$81 billion profit in the second quarter of 2022 due to high global commodity prices, according the Australian Financial Review’s report on Tuesday.
Albanese’s Labor government has faced calls to ban fossil fuel exports and the development of new coal, oil and gas mining projects under its climate policy.
Labor has introduced its signature emissions bill to the Senate.
If passed, the bill would enshrine in law a new emissions reduction target of at least 43 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero by 2050.
The government is also designing a mechanism that will force Australia’s top 215 emitters to reach net zero by 2050.
Albanese on Monday night again made his case for Australia to become a renewable energy superpower.
“Embracing renewable energy technology will attract and generate tens of billions of dollars in investment, and create hundreds of thousands of jobs, with five out of every six in regional Australia,” he said.