Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Dr. Willie Soon; As Aussie coal stocks soar, likely thanks to the breakdown in climate talks between the USA and China, the UN has issued a new warning that coal is doomed.

Top UN official calls for Australia to urgently dump coal

By Nick O’Malley
September 6, 2021 — 12.00am

The United Nations’ top climate official has urged Australia to have a “more honest and rational conversation” about urgently abandoning coal power, which he said was in the nation’s and the world’s best interests.

Selwin Hart, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Climate Action, said wealthy nations must stop using coal power by 2030 and the rest of the world must dump it by 2040 if the world is to keep global warming to within the agreed target of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“Market forces alone show coal’s days are numbered, as many investors increasingly abandon it in favour of renewables, which are now cheaper in most places,” said Mr Hart during a speech recorded for an Australian National University leadership forum.

“We fully understand the role that coal and other fossil fuels have played in Australia’s economy, even if mining accounts for a small fraction – around 2 per cent – of overall jobs.

“But it’s essential to have a broader, more honest and rational conversation about what is in Australia’s interests because the bottom line is clear.

“If the world does not rapidly phase out coal, climate change will wreak havoc right across the Australian economy: from agriculture to tourism, and right across the services sector,” he said.

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Note that while a 238% annual return on investment is impressive, I am not giving investment advice. Coal stock prices are extremely volatile, and any headwind, such as an unexpected economic slowdown, sudden outbreak of war, or the election of a President who turns out to be a complete moron, can have a dramatic negative impact on prices, at least in the short term.

Australia’s federal resource minister has slammed UN comments as unwanted foreign interference in Australia’s affairs.

Australia’s Resources Minister Keith Pitt shot back by affirming coal would remain a significant contributor to the Australian economy well beyond 2030.

“The future of this crucial industry will be decided by the Australian Government, not a foreign body that wants to shut it down costing thousands of jobs and billions of export dollars for our economy,” Pitt said, according to the Australian Associated Press.

He pointed to three months to July that saw coal exports soar to $12.5 billion – a 26 per cent increase on the previous quarter – as evidence of just how vital the commodity remains to the Australian economy and the jobs that go with it, the AAP report said.

“Coal will continue to generate billions of dollars in royalties and taxes for state and federal governments, and directly employ over 50,000 Australians,” Pitt added, in a direct challenge to climate activists who join the U.N. in demanding Australia cease and desist the practive.

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I think we can safely say the UN’s suggestion that “market forces alone show coal’s days are numbered” does not appear to be supported by the evidence, and is likely more aspirational than fact based.

via Watts Up With That?

September 7, 2021