Senate debates

Thursday, 12 November 2015


OECD Coal Subsidies

12:36 pm

Photo of Mitch FifieldMitch Fifield (Victoria, Liberal Party, Manager of Government Business in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

Mr Deputy President, I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.

The government does not support this motion. It is erroneous on several fronts and totally misrepresents Australia's position. The first point to note is that export credit agencies do not provide subsidies but loans on commercial terms. The second point is that Australia is in ongoing negotiations with OECD parties on this issue, and these are continuing in a constructive fashion. The third point is that Australia's objective is to ensure that developing countries have access to the best high-efficiency, low-emissions technology at the cheapest possible price to support development and alleviate poverty. The International Energy Agency predicts energy demand in South-East Asia will grow by 80 per cent by 2040, with their share of coal in power generation rising from 32 per cent to 50 per cent. Around 1.2 billion people globally are without electricity. The reality is that in countries like India, where something like 300 million people are without reliable and efficient power, coal will be part of the energy mix for many years to come.


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