The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Australia to 'Absolutely' Exploit and Use Coal Despite IPCC Warning
In a recent interview with SkyNews, deputy prime minister Michael McCormack said Australia will "absolutely" continue to use and exploit its coal reserves regardless of what the IPCC report says.
Australia is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, with relentless drought, deadly wildfires and devastating bleaching at the iconic Great Barrier Reef. At the same time, Australia is one of the world's largest coal exporters, accounting for 37 percent of global exports.
In the major United Nations report on Sunday, the world's top climate scientists said that limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C will stop catastrophic global warming and help prevent Australia's imperiled coral reefs from destruction.
However, McCormack insisted to SkyNews that the government will not change its policies "just because somebody might suggest that some sort of report is the way we need to follow and everything that we should do."
Coal mining, McCormack said, is very important to Australia because it provides 60 percent of the country's electricity, 50,000 workers and is its largest export.
He added that he has not "seen anything that's going to replace coal in the near future" and maintained that coal will be an important part of the energy mix for more than 10 years.
Environment minister Melissa Price, who used to work for the mining industry, further advocated for coal and suggested the 91 scientists behind the IPCC report were wrong in their findings.
"I just don't know how you could say by 2050 that you're not going to have technology that's going to enable good, clean technology when it comes to coal," she told ABC's AM program. "That would be irresponsible of us to be able to commit to that."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison maintains that Australia will meet its Paris agreement targets to reduce carbon emissions by 28 percent from 2005 levels, even though the IPCC report advised it would need to be closer to 45 percent, according to ABC.
- Australian Prime Minister Ousted Over Climate Policy ›
- Indigenous Australians Take Fight Against Giant Coal Mine to the ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Brian Barth
Late fall, after the last crops have been harvested, is a time to rest and reflect on the successes and challenges of the gardening year. But for those whose need to putter around in the garden doesn't end when cold weather comes, there's surely a few lingering chores. Get them done now and you'll be ahead of the game in spring.
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.
(R) The measles virus pictured under a microscope. PHIL / CDC
The Pacific Island nation of Samoa declared a state of emergency this week, closed all of its schools and limited the number of public gatherings allowed after a measles outbreak has swept across the country of just 200,000 people, according to Reuters.
By Alison Cagle
Rising above the Arizona desert, the Santa Rita Mountains cradle 10,000 years of Indigenous history. The Tohono O'odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and Hopi Tribe, among numerous other tribes, have worshipped, foraged, hunted and laid their ancestors to rest in the mountains for generations.
Native Americans are disproportionately without access to clean water, according to a new report, "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan," to be released this afternoon, which shows that more than two million Americans do not have access to access to running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater services.
By Nanticha Ocharoenchai
In the Czech Republic, horses have become the knights in shining armor. A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation suggests that returning feral horses to grasslands in Podyjí National Park could help boost the numbers of several threatened butterfly species.