According to The Australian Financial Review today, coal and gas producers insisted they still have a future under an agreement by the world's biggest economies to "decarbonise" the global economy by 2100 but say increased investment in carbon capture technology is vital to meet that goal.
Glencore, Australia's largest coal exporter, responded by declaring that coal would be the chosen fuel for baseload energy for decades to come particularly in the developing world.
"Global policy should be targeting the least-cost path to emissions reduction. That path includes coal," the spokesman said.
"The production of zero emissions electricity from coal is already happening," he said.
He pointed to the Boundary Dam power plant in Canada, the world's only operating commercial coal-fired generation with technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions.
"The technology exists, the next step is to bring costs down so it can be commercialised at scale," Mr Michael Roche, Queensland Resources Council chief executive, said. "There is no future for coal or for gas in the long run without carbon capture and storage."
Gas producers used the G7 pledge to argue the case for natural gas as a cleaner burning alternative to coal.
"We all know that gas can play an essential role in ensuring we grow living standards while reducing our carbon footprint," said Susie Smith, general manager carbon and sustainability at oil and gas producer Santos.
Royal Dutch Shell, whose business is totally reliant on the production of fossil fuels, has also pointed to the crucial role of carbon capture technology.
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