His declaration came us UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UN get-together had sounded the “death knell” for coal power.
Appearing on Today with a screen behind him displaying the slogan “Glasgow: A huge win for coal”, Senator Canavan said there had “never been stronger demand” for the industry.
“Given the fact that the agreement did not say that coal needs to be phased down or taken out, it is a green light for us to build more coal mines,” he said.
The agreement finally reached by 197 countries yesterday did in fact include a commitment to “phase down” the use of coal, but the phrase was changed from “phase out” after an intervention by India.
Senator Canavan also speculated that numerous countries would not take the commitment seriously.
“The agreements themselves have wiggle room,” he said.
“We always see countries not comply with the agreements.”
He claimed there was “not really any country around the world” taking it seriously.
“The countries in our region, like India, like China, like South-East Asia, are growing and developing their industries, and their demand for coal almost has no limit,” he said.
“So, we have got the best quality coal in the world and we should be supplying that to the world, because it is good for the environment to do that, and it is, of course, very good for people’s growth, development, and getting people out of poverty.”
Negotiators at Glasgow said the final agreement was aimed at keeping alive the overarching goal of limiting warming to 1.5C since pre-industrial times. The world has already warmed 1.1C.
Coal is among the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the UN climate summit as a “game-changing agreement” that sounded the “death knell for coal power” – although he added that his delight at the progress on fighting climate change was “tinged with disappointment.”
Mr Johnson said it was “beyond question” that the deal coming out of the Glasgow conference marks an important moment in the use of coal, because most of western Europe and North America have agreed to pull the plug on financial support for all overseas fossil fuel projects by this time next year.
Mr Johnson also said the compromise that saw the language changed to “phase down” did not make “that much of a difference.”