Australian and Japanese environment and research groups have issued a joint call to the Japanese government to end Australian imports of coal.
The group of non-government organisations have produced a new assessment of the environmental impacts of the coal that Australia supplies to Japan which argues the ongoing purchase of Australian coal is unsustainable.
Japan is Australia’s largest buyer of coal, used for both power generation and manufacturing industries, and Australia supplies around 60 per cent of Japan’s total coal consumption.
The research report found that the coal exported by Australia to Japan is responsible for around 490 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, which is almost the equivalent to Australia’s domestic greenhouse gas emissions.
“Australia is the third largest exporter of fossil fuels in the world, yet the government is only interested in further growing its coal and gas exports to the region,” the Australia Institute’s Richie Merzian said.