Fossil Economy

Australia cannot continue to increase fossil fuel production unimpeded in a global economy that is rapidly reducing fossil fuel use

To avoid becoming a fossil economy, Australia will need to take advantage of the global shift to clean energy, as well as diversifying our export industries.

The world is shifting away from fossil fuels – and this includes key importers of Australia’s coal and gas.

Australian government policies ignore this, leaving us dependent on continued fossil fuel exports, at risk of:

  • stranded investments
  • dropping export revenue, and
  • a growing current account deficit.

The Beyond Zero Emissions Fossil Economy Report investigates the expected revenue from 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.

Australia is at risk of its economy being left behind, our prosperity being a relic of the past – fossilised – as the rest of the world moves to a cleaner future.

Australia will need to decouple from emissions-intensive exports to ensure a stable and prosperous economy in the future.


First published Nov 2014