A Fossil Economy in a Changing World

The world is shifting away from fossil energy, including countries that are key importers of Australia’s coal and gas. Australia’s economic and energy policies are yet to acknowledge this reality, fastening Australia’s economic prosperity to continued exports of fossil fuels. This leaves Australia at risk of stranded investments, continued write-downs of export revenue and a growing current account deficit.

Published 2014 by
Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE)

Upper Hunter Valley coal mine 590px Credit Greenpeace-Murphy

Image: Upper Hunter Valley coal mine

The Fossil Economy report investigates the revenue expectation of Australia’s emissions-intensive exports, comparing Australian Government projections with projections from the International Energy Agency. These projections include the business-as-usual New Policies Scenario, and the climate change mitigation 450 ppm Scenario. This indicates a potential shortfall in export revenue growing to AU$100 billion annually by 2030.

To avoid becoming a fossil economy, policy makers must first acknowledge the impacts of effective global action on climate change. To ensure prosperity into the future, Australia should take advantage of the global shift to clean energy, as well as diversifying the economy.

The lead author of hte Fossil Economy report was Gerard Drew.


Get a copy of the Fossil Economy Report

  • Download the free pdf file here (1.9 MB)
  • No hard copy available
  • Download the appendix to the report here.


Carbon reduction in Asia will punch $100 billion hole in Federal revenue by 2030: ABC Radio National


Deep carbon emission cuts possible and inevitable, reports find (SMH)

Australia’s coal and gas exports are being left stranded
(The Conversation).