The question whether building new coal-fired power plants is outdated or not is causing some debate within the Coalition and its parties ahead of elections in May.
Liberal energy minister Angus Taylor confirmed this week that the government was still assessing new coal projects despite substantial pushback from moderates in his party. Taylor said that the main aspects under which projects were evaluated were their viability and their potential to reduce prices, as well as their alignment with international obligations. In fact, Australia is relying on coal more heavily than other industrialized nations.Queensland Nationals meanwhile demanded
the government underwrite new coal projects regardless of their viability, declaring commitment to coal
to be National party policy. Liberals, on the other hand, are becoming more scared that too much support for coal could lead to a loss of city voters and could ultimately cost the Coalition its majority.
Liberal prime minister Scott Morrison dismissed the debate as “hypothetical”, saying that the local Queensland government would not approve a new coal plant. According to the U.N., Australia is currently not on track to meet its 2030 Paris convention emission goals.