Australia urged to quickly ditch coal to meet new climate goals

(Reuters, 26 May 2022) Environmentalists say Australia's new Labor government must support fossil fuel workers as it seeks greater reductions in carbon emissions by 2030.

Rapidly phasing out coal power plants and mines will be vital for Australia's new government to meet its more ambitious carbon emissions targets, environmentalists said, while urging renewable energy investments for mining communities.

Australia's Labor Party formed a new government on Monday, after unprecedented support for the Greens and climate-focused independents ended nearly a decade of rule by the conservative coalition in Saturday's general election.

New Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of centre-left Labor has promised to end the "climate wars" - disagreements over the need for action on climate change that have dogged politics in Australia for years.

"The election was a strong vote for climate action," Joe Fontaine, a lecturer in environmental science at Murdoch University in Perth, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

A phase-out of coal power is "crucial" to meet the Labor government's new climate goals, added Fontaine, who said Greens and independents may push for even more ambitious targets.

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Reuters, 26 May 2022: Australia urged to quickly ditch coal to meet new climate goals