What do Australia’s international climate obligations mean for coal?
Australia is a signatory to the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change. The Paris Agreement's long-term temperature goal is to keep the rise in mean global temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, and preferably limit the increase to 1.5 °C.
To meet the Paris Agreement’s goals, the International Energy Agency has said that there can be no new coal, oil, or gas development from 2021. This means the 69 new coal projects in the pipeline for Australia must be cancelled.
The Paris Agreement also requires wealthy OECD countries like Australia to phase out existing coal by 2030, and 2040 for the rest of the world.