Question Without Notice to the Minister for Resources, 2 September, 2021
Now that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has confirmed climate change is catastrophic, is caused by humans burning coal and gas and is happening now, will the government drop its plans to expand coal and gas mining and transition Queensland and workers to industries with a secure future?
I thank the member for the question. I am aware of the release of the International Energy Agency report titled Net zero emissions by 2050 and the recent report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The Queensland government takes climate change extremely seriously. That is why we recently launched our Queensland Climate Action Plan, which includes a commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and power Queensland with 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
I note that the question relating to climate change should really be directed to the Hon. Meaghan Scanlon MP as the Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs. Having said that, however, this government has a long-held position that we continue to support coal projects so long as they stack up financially, environmentally and socially. The coal industry has made some key contributions to the success and prosperity of Queensland, and I am confident that we will be a coal exporter for many years to come.
It is interesting to note that Queensland’s coalmines relate to around 85 per cent of metallurgical coal. Metallurgical coal is used for the production of steel that we will see used in wind turbines. We hear from both our international and our domestic markets that they will continue to need our metallurgical coal for many years to come. This means that coalmining and associated jobs will be part of our economy now and into the foreseeable future. The royalties from coal will continue to fund our vital public services and infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and the roads the minister spoke about previously.
Queensland is also rich in the minerals area and that will assist in the decarbonisation of Australia’s economy. This government’s Queensland resource industry development plan will explore more opportunities to develop a new sector of resource in the industry.
The Queensland government is proud of the resource sector; however, we are also aware of the challenges facing the sector in terms of meeting emissions targets going forward. Responding to these challenges will also be a key part of the focus of the Queensland resource industry development plan. Planning for a net zero emissions future by 2050 is vital. This government has taken the necessary steps to ensure that we as a state are ready for this.
I cannot emphasise enough the importance of that resource industry development plan. One of the key things we are seeing out of Richmond is the importance of vanadium. Vanadium will be used to develop grid sized batteries that will be used to power our state well into the future with alternative energies.