En­ergy era

Whitsunday Times - - WHIT SUNDAY VIEWS -

THE his­toric Paris sum­mit has con­cluded with 187 coun­tries sign­ing the agree­ment to limit global warm­ing to 1.5C above pre-in­dus­trial lev­els.

Paris tells us we need to sig­nif­i­cantly and rapidly re­duce our car­bon emis­sions and phase out fos­sil fu­els to make sure as a global com­mu­nity we ac­tu­ally achieve th­ese tar­gets. The sum­mit sent a very clear sig­nal that the whole world is go­ing re­new­able as quickly as pos­si­ble – and we must make sure Aus­tralia does the same.

The whole world, ex­cept per­haps our own politi­cians, un­der­stands that to achieve the tar­get set in Paris 80% of all Aus­tralian coal re­serves must stay in the ground. Clearly our gov­ern­ments must not al­low any new coal mines in this coun­try, and gov­ern­ments need to re­alise that this is an eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity, not an eco­nomic cri­sis. There are enor­mous jobs and in­vest­ment prospects af­ter the Paris agree­ment. The age of coal is over, and Aus­tralia must em­brace the ar­rival of the re­new­able en­ergy era.

The burn­ing of coal is a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to global warm­ing and reef de­struc­tion. We sim­ply can­not have co­ral and coal – re­gard­less of what ill-in­formed politi­cians say. We must sup­port the tran­si­tion to clean en­ergy pro­duc­tion, and cre­ate a low car­bon econ­omy that pro­tects our en­vi­ron­ment and creates jobs that don’t risk hu­man health or the cli­mate of our planet for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

San­dra Wil­liams Air­lie Beach

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