Discussion paper

Getting off coal

Economic and social policies to manage the phase-out of thermal coal in Australia
Climate change mitigation Carbon emissions Coal-fired power Emissions reduction Energy industries Coal Power resources Australia
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The evidence of a climate emergency is now undeniable. Any coherent response requires a rapid phase-out of coal-fired electricity generation. That also implies an immediate halt to new thermal coal mines and a gradual closure of existing thermal coal mines.

Successful implementation of such a policy requires a strong and concrete commitment to facilitating employment transitions for workers in the industry (including to alternative jobs and/or support for early retirement), and equally strong and concrete measures to promote alternative sources of development and employment for regional communities dependent on coal mining.

Specific policies associated with an orderly, effective, and fair phase-out of thermal coal would include:

  • An immediate moratorium on new thermal coal mines, including those at an early stage of pre-construction such as the Adani Carmichael mine.
  • A phased program of closure for existing thermal coal mines over the period to 2030.
  • A phased program of closure of coal-fired power stations over the period to 2030.
  • A commitment to (renewable) electrification of transport and a co-ordinated program of investment in necessary infrastructure.
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