Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Friday at the Asia Society dinner in Texas that the country should target to be a global affordable energy superpower. And the way to do that would be for the country to continue making available to the world as fuel.
"For many decades, at least, coal will continue to fuel human progress as an affordable energy source for wealthy and developing countries alike," ABC quoted Mr Abbott.
He explained that the continued push for coal usage, which many countries consider as a dirty and non-renewable source of fuel, was a factor that contributed to the Coalition-led government's push to scrap the carbon tax put in place by the administration of former Labor PM Julia Gillard.
Mr Abbott pointed out that while discussions about developing Australian's natural resources often goes hand-in-hand with talks about climate change and its impact on the environment, the country could still cut its carbon emissions. "But we don't believe in ostracising any particular fuel and we don't believe in harming economic growth," he stressed.
The PM said he wants to repeal the carbon tax law - which the Opposition and the Greens vow to block in Parliament - because he believes it damaged the Aussie economy and hiked energy cost for businesses and families. To gain more MPs in favour of scrapping the carbon tax, he pomised Clive Palmer, whose party holds three key Senate votes by July 1, to lower electricity prices in exchange for his party's support for the repeal.
In lieu of the carbon tax, he said the country would have a $2.55 billion fund that will give priority to cost-effective, targeted means to cut emissions such as afforestation, soil carbon and cleaner power stations.
"Australia should be an affordable energy superpower, using nature's gift to the benefit of our own people and benefit of the wider world," Mr Abbott said.
Australia is the world's largest exporter of black coal. In 2013, the country exported 540 million tonnes of coal, up for 501 million tonnes in 2012. The Bureau of Resource Energy Economics forecasts coking and thermal coal export to rise to $225 billion over the next five years.