NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham has said Australians who want to reduce coal-fired power by 80 per cent by 2050 are ‘dreaming’.
Support for coal-fired power among Coalition voters has dropped from 72 to 57 per cent, according to a poll by the Australian National University.
Responding to the poll, Mr Latham said it ‘wasn’t worth a cracker’ and criticised alternative sources of electricity during an appearance on Sky News on Tuesday.
‘Anyone who wants to take that 80 per cent of coal-fired power and think within the space of 20 or 30 years you can turn it into zero and rely on unproven technologies like battery storage or very expensive alternatives like pumped hydro to keep the lights on, well, they’re dreaming,’ Mr Latham said.
Meanwhile, Sky News host Rita Panah claimed Australia would ‘descend into a third world nation’ if it cut out coal.
‘We know renewables and batteries aren’t going to be a replacement for that 80 per cent,’ she said.
‘Unless you’ve got something that can replace it like nuclear [power] then you’re in a world of trouble.’ Sky News host Rita Panah claimed Australia would ‘descend into a third world nation’ if it cut out coal
The university poll interviewed 3,249 Australians in October at the start of the bushfires and in January in the midst of them.
ANU lead researcher Professor Nicholas Biddle said non-capital city residents and those in capital cities ‘shared the same view’ in regard to environmental issues.
‘Around half of respondents said the environment was the most important or second most important issue – compared to almost 42 per cent in October 2019,’ Mr Biddle said.
‘There was a large increase in the amount of people who said global warming or the greenhouse effect would have an effect on them – 72 per cent in January 2020 compared to 56 per cent in 2008.’