The United Nations has urged Australia to phase out coal or face severe economic consequences from climate change, its special adviser said.
“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 percent – of overall jobs,” UN special adviser on climate change Selwin Hart said in a speech at the Australian National University in Canberra.
“But it’s essential to have a broader, more honest and rational conversation about what is in Australia’s interests,” Hart added.
The UN has urged member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to phase out coal by 2030, including Australia.
Hart urged the Australian government to “seize the moment” and shift to renewable energy.
“If the world does not rapidly phase out coal, [it] will wreak havoc right across the Australian economy: from agriculture to tourism, and right across the services sector,” he said.
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