Carbon Tax debate continues

Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (19:44): This is the last question from me. Minister, would you agree that Australia is the largest exporter in the global seaborne coal trade but that Australia accounts for only six per cent of global production Is that correct Would you agree that most of the world's coal is used in the country in which it is mined, with seaborne trade forming only 15 per cent of the global use Is that correct Is it a factand if it is not, perhaps you can tell me what the figures arethat China produces 50 per cent of the world's black coal; the United States, 15 per cent; India, nine per cent; and Indonesia, South Africa, and Russia, four per cent each Is it also true that Australia's share of global production is falling World coal production has increased, I am toldand I seek your confirmationby 66 per cent since the year 2000, whilst Australia's coal production is only up by 40 per cent, so we are going backwards. China's coal production has increased, I am toldand I seek your confirmationby 141 per cent, and Colombia and Indonesia have increased their coal production by 91 per cent and 319 per cent, respectively.

Minister, do you agree that, with this global abundance of coal, the competitiveness of individual companies and countries is largely determined by their cost of production Would you agree that by imposing additional costs on the Australian coal industry in the form of a carbon tax we diminish in some way our competitive advantage And would you agree that the nature of global coal trade means that any loss of market will be readily filled by one or more of our trade competitorsnone of whom have a carbon taxthereby elimina_ting any potential environmental benefit from taxing Australian coal or shutting down Australian coalmines Perhaps I can ask that last question in a different way: what is the benefit to global emissions when any reduction in Australian production will mean increases in production in these other countries that do not have any restrictions Can you explain the environmental benefit

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