AUSTRALIA’S state and territory governments have called on the federal government to ban the burning of coal, arguing that the emissions from burning fossil fuels are already being phased out by the end of the century.

In a joint statement, the federal and state governments said they were “deeply concerned” by a report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) that predicted Australia could see emissions from coal by the year 2020 drop by 25 per cent.

The AEMO report said emissions from Australia’s coal-fired power stations would fall by nearly half by 2030.

“These results are based on a scenario that assumes coal-burning power stations will continue to operate in Australia for the foreseeable future,” the states and territories said in a joint communique.

“The reality is that this scenario does not support the current levels of carbon emissions.”

The states and territory states said the federal Government’s proposed policy changes to the carbon pricing system would “likely have an adverse effect on coal-related emissions.”

“The policy would significantly reduce the amount of coal-based electricity generation in the Australian electricity market, which would have a significant impact on the economy,” they said.

The states, territories and federal governments also urged the federal Energy Minister Greg Hunt to use his “broad powers” to implement measures that would ensure Australia continues to export coal to the rest of the world.

“If the Federal Government intends to proceed with these policies, then the Government must take the appropriate steps to ensure Australia is not being left behind,” they wrote.

Australia has been the world’s largest coal producer, accounting for a quarter of its energy needs.

The states are also calling on the Federal Energy Market Authority to review the AEMo’s report.

“This report is highly politicised, and there is a real risk that it will influence the decision-making process at AEMCO,” the state states said.

“We are concerned that the policy implications of this report are unlikely to be taken into account by the Federal Parliament or any subsequent Federal Government decision-makers.”AEMCO is currently the only publicly-funded agency in Australia to assess the carbon emissions from power stations and other fossil fuel sources.

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