Australia’s use of its abundant fossil fuel resources – especially coal - to drive its carbon intensive industries is controversial. But as the country, a net energy exporter and the world’s largest exporter of coal, shifts towards using cleaner sources of energy, the government has set ambitious renewable energy targets. Fossil fuels are likely to be the resource the government needs to help it subsidise its green move.

WHILE most developed economies depend on energy imports to meet their domestic needs, Australia is one of the only three countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that are net energy exporters. The other two are Norway an...

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Dr. Carole Nakhle
Australia is the world’s fourth largest holder of coal reserves, after the US, Russia and China and is the world’s third largest producer after China and the US. It has been the world’s largest exporter of coal since 1986. In 2010, it exported about 70 per cent of its production - the equivalent of 31 per cent of global supply
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