The future of Australia’s thermal coal industry in a low carbon environment

Crawford School of Public Policy | Arndt-Corden Department of Economics

Event details

PhD Seminar (Econ)

Date & time

Friday 06 March 2020


Seminar Room 1, Stanner Building 37, Crawford School, ANU


Cedric Hodges


Dr Ryan Edwards

This paper provides projections of the transition ahead of Australia’s thermal coal industry under the global effort to keep global warming below 2°C. The study uses a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model with a bottom-up representation of the regional economies where thermal coal mining is concentrated, linked directly with the surrounding national and global economies. The database of the model is constructed from the latest global and regional input-output data and has a comprehensive emissions accounting module covering CO2 and non-CO2 emissions from all sources.

A range of sensitivity analysis is conducted to account for the inherent uncertainty in assumed behaviour. The results show the industry is facing a persistent and severe contraction with knock-on effects for regional economies. This underscores the need for proactive and forthright planning by policymakers to help ease the transition of local workers and populations.

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