Coal Action Network Aotearoa sharply criticised the Climate Change Commission’s decision to double projected coal use in 2050 in its final advice to the Government, released today.

“The Climate Change Commission’s final advice to the Government is full of brave words about the need to phase out coal,” said Coal Action Network Aotearoa spokesperson Tim Jones. “But brave words mean nothing without the determination to act – and since its draft report, it looks like the Commission’s nerve has failed.”

“In the draft advice, the Commission showed coal use continuing at 10 PJ/yr right up to 2050. Continuing to use coal, the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel, up to 2050 is utterly irresponsible in a climate emergency. CANA wants coal phased out by 2027.”

“But the final advice is even worse. It appears NZ Steel have got in the Commission’s ear and persuaded the Commission that their antiquated, polluting technology should be allowed to continue at even higher levels past 2050 – in fact, at twice the level in the draft advice.”

“This is terrible advice,” Tim Jones said. “Alternatives to using coal to make steel exist, and will be available well before 2050. This backsliding by the Commission shows that we need as a country to have a real debate about alternatives for coal for high-temperature industrial processes, instead of allowing vested interests like NZ Steel to sweet-talk the Commission into allowing coal a future that is bad for Aotearoa and bad for the planet.”