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Australia Rejects U.N. Climate Report, Continues Using Coal

Australia is the world's driest inhabited continent.

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Australia, Coal
The Liddell coal-fired power station is seen in the Hunter Valley, north of Sydney, Australia. VOA

Australia is rejecting the latest U.N. report on climate change, insisting coal remains critical to energy security and lowering household power bills.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in its report released Monday that global greenhouse gas emissions must reach zero by the middle of the century to stop global warming exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The authors warned that if warming was allowed to reach two degrees, the world would be on course toward uncontrollable temperatures.

Climate change, Australia
The coal-fired Plant Scherer, one of the nation’s top carbon dioxide emitters, stands in the distance in Juliette, Georgia. VOA

They made special mention of coal, insisting that its use for power generation would have to fall to between zero and two percent of current usage.

The report has received a lukewarm response by Australia’s center-right government. It has said it has no intention of scaling back fossil fuel production because without coal, household power bills would soar.

Canberra also insists it is on target to meet its commitments under the Paris agreement, which attempts to unite every nation under a single accord to tackle climate change for the first time ever.

Australia earns billions of dollars exporting coal to China and other parts of Asia, while it generates more than 60 percent of domestic electricity.

Queensland, Australia
FILE – A dead tree stands near a water tank in a drought-stricken paddock located on the outskirts of the southwestern Queensland town of Cunnamulla in outback Australia, Aug. 10, 2017. (VOA)

Australia’s Environment Minister Melissa Price believes the IPCC report exaggerates the threat posed by fossil fuel.

“Coal does form a very important part of the Australian energy mixer and we make no apology for the fact that our focus at the moment is on getting electricity prices down,” Price said. “Every year, there is new technology with respect to coal and what its contribution is to emissions. So, you know, to say that it has got to be phased out by 2050 is drawing a very long bow.”

Australia has some of the world’s highest per capita rates of greenhouse gas pollution. A recent government report showed a failure to reduce levels of greenhouse gas pollution. The survey said that between January and March this year, Australia had its most elevated levels of carbon pollution since 2011.

Coal, Australia
Workers operate machines at a coal mine at Palaran district in Samarinda, Indonesia (VOA)

Conservationists argue Australia is doing too little to protect itself from the predicted ravages of a shifting climate.

Also Read: Use Every Resources To Help in Climate Change: Scientists

Australia is the world’s driest inhabited continent. Scientists warn that droughts, floods, heat waves, brush fires and storms will become more intense as temperatures rise, with potentially disastrous consequences for human health and the environment, including the Great Barrier Reef. (VOA)

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China’s Coal Industry To Promote 5G Intelligent Mining

China's largest hard coal producer, the Yangquan Coal Industry Group, has inked a framework agreement with China Mobile and Huawei on promoting 5G-based intelligent mining

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Coal, Mining, China, 5G
The use of 5G technology in underground application scenarios will bring effective improvements to safety production and the operating environment. Wikimedia Commons

China’s largest hard coal producer, the Yangquan Coal Industry Group, has inked a framework agreement with China Mobile and Huawei on promoting 5G-based intelligent mining.

The new alliance, based on their advantages in 5G and underground mining, is expected to explore the applications of the 5G network in coal mine communication, management, safety production and monitoring, said Wang Yongge, general manager of the mining group.

Shanxi province has more than 900 coal mines and produces about 900 million tonnes of coal annually, with some 300,000 miners working long hours underground, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

Coal, Mining, China, 5G
5G-powered tramcars went into service in a coal mine in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Pixabay

“The use of 5G technology in underground application scenarios will bring effective improvements to safety production and the operating environment of coal miners,” Wang added.

Yankuang Group, a Shandong-based mining conglomerate, previously set up a joint lab with China Unicom and ZTE to develop 5G and intelligent mining.

ALSO READ: Congo: Ebola Deaths in East of Sprawling African Nation Nearing 2,000 and Cases of Virus Exceeds 3,000

Open-pit coal mines are also keeping up with the trend by integrating GPS, facial recognition, big data and other technologies, as 5G-powered tramcars went into service in a coal mine in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, assisting the drivers to offload without blind spots.

President of Huawei Cloud China, Hong Fangming said that the new engines for corporate innovation brought by cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence, 5G and other technologies will be crucial for industrial upgrading. (IANS)