Mining Cosplayer Matt Canavan Claimed That Coal Is “Good For The Environment” After COP26

Glasgow was "a huge win for coal", apparently.

matt canavan coal

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Everyone’s favourite coal mining cosplayer Senator Matt Canavan has sensationally claimed that the Glasgow COP26 climate summit was a “great result” for Australia’s fossil fuel industry, making it abundantly clear that our presence at the event was futile.

COP26 concluded last Friday after two weeks of world leaders discussing how to adequately manage the impending threat of climate change. As expected, Australia quickly became the laughing stock of the entire summit.

And the good times have simply continued: Canavan appeared on Today to assert that there has “never been a stronger demand” for the coal industry.

“Given the fact that the agreement did not say that coal needs to be phased down or taken out, it is a green light for us to build more coal mines,” he said, while sitting in front of a screen displaying the slogan “Glasgow: A huge win for coal.”

Initially, the final agreement called for a “phase out” of coal, but this was eventually changed to “phase down” after intervention from India.

Further discrediting our already weak climate policy, Canavan asserted that many countries didn’t really plan on sticking to the agreement anyway, asserting that there was “not really any country around the world” taking COP26 seriously.

“The agreements themselves have wiggle room,” he said. “We always see countries not comply with the agreements.

“The countries in our region, like India, like China, like South-East Asia, are growing and developing their industries, and their demand for coal almost has no limit,” he added, as if he were talking about some sort of pro-coal summit, not the most important climate action meeting of the year.

“So, we have got the best quality coal in the world and we should be supplying that to the world, because it is good for the environment to do that, and it is, of course, very good for people’s growth, development, and getting people out of poverty.”

For those playing along at home, Canavan’s claim of coal being good for the environment is irrefutably false.

Canavan’s comments come after the final agreement was signed last week with the goal of aiming to limit warming to 1.5C since pre-industrial times. As it currently stands, we’ve already warmed 1.1C, with coal and other fossil fuels accounting for a large portion of warming thus far.

Junkee has reached out to Matt Canavan’s office for comment — and evidence to support the claim that coal is good for the environment. His statement, which still does not give any legitimate evidence of coal being good for the environment, has been included in full:

“Coal is still the most used fuel to generate electricity in the world. Anyone predicting that its use will fall to zero in 30 years is telling a fairytale and is at odds with all major projections for future coal use. Australia has the best coal in the world and we only supply 5 per cent of the world’s coal. Even if global coal use falls the world will still demand Australia’s high quality coal,” Canavan said in a statement provided to Junkee.

“Australia’s coal is high in energy, low in ash, and therefore has a critical role in helping the world reduce its own emissions.

“A failure to exploit Australia‘s thermal coal exports will mean a higher global use of less efficient sources of thermal coal, and consequently higher levels of global carbon emissions. Australian thermal coal exports are of the highest quality coal found anywhere in the world, generally reporting an energy content above 5,500 Kcal/kg, which compares favourably to Indonesian coal which has an estimated range of between 4,200 and 5,200. Therefore, the most efficient outcome for the world’s environment is to use more Australian coal and less coal from some overseas countries.”