Turnbull dismisses call to ban all new coal mines

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has outright rejected the possibility of banning new coal mines in Australia, despite growing calls for a moratorium.

Asked on Tuesday about the moratorium proposed in a letter signed by 61 prominent Australian scientists and celebrities, Mr Turnbull said such action would not make "the blindest bit of difference to global emissions".

Among the signatories were star Wallaby David Pocock, former Reserve Bank governor Bernie Fraser and professors Tim Flannery and Fiona Stanley.

But Mr Turnbull said irrespective of whether Australia stopped exporting coal, the countries buying it would simply do so from other sources.

While renewable energy needed to be a key electricity provider in the future, Mr Turnbull said, coal was a "critical ingredient" in alleviating poverty overseas.

However, Mr Turnbull also said those suffering from energy poverty often did not have access to the electricity grid and "solar energy" was often a better option.

Mr Turnbull made the comments after announcing the appointment of the new Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel.

Mr Finkel, who takes up the role later this year, said he wanted a future free of coal and gas, but it would not happen "overnight".

He said the best way to get rid of coal was to provide viable alternatives, and the battery storage of electricity was a key part of making renewable energy a real alternative to coal.



How you can get to work car free next week

How you can get to work car free next week

Some buslines will offer free travel one day next week

Teen archer targets medals on world stage

Teen archer targets medals on world stage

From Woodenbong to the world, one arrow at a time

Last chance at freedom for Nimbin lane boys

Last chance at freedom for Nimbin lane boys

Judge has warned two boys to avoid cannabis at all costs

Local Partners