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Australia has revised up its forecast for resources and energy export revenue on the back of strong coal and liquefied natural gas prices, even as the world tries to wean itself off heavy-polluting fossil fuels.
Exports are expected to hit a record A$379 billion ($271 billion) in the year to June 30, 2022, revised up by 9% from the September estimate, the government’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources said in a quarterly update.
Prices for coal and LNG, both of which Australia vies to be the top producer of, were forecast to remain elevated, “supported by ongoing shortages and strong demand,” the department said in a statement.
Demand for copper and nickel — key inputs in the clean energy transition — boosted the outlook for base metals earnings. Strength in those areas is tipped to help offset lower iron ore earnings, as supply from key competitor Brazil recovers and global demand growth slows. Iron ore accounts for around a third of the nation’s total export revenue.
This year is likely to be the peak for Australia’s resources sector, with revenue tipped to fall to A$311 billion in fiscal 2023 as the post-pandemic global economic recovery starts to wane.
Risks to its outlook for the current year were also skewed to the downside, the department said, and included a further spike in global inflation, new coronavirus variants, and a faster-than-expected decline in coal prices.
Australia’s center-right government continues to strongly support the coal and gas industries, despite a growing clamor at home and abroad for the country to transition from fossil fuels. Prime Minister Scott Morrison bowed to pressure to commit to a net-zero emissions target ahead of the COP26 Glasgow climate summit, and has adopted a technology-based approach to reducing carbon pollution with incentives for the development of hydrogen and carbon capture and storage projects.
Zara Rutherford, a 19-year-old Belgian-British pilot plans to break three Guinness World Records by traveling around the world alone, according to her website.
The records include: youngest woman to fly solo around the world; first woman to circumnavigate the world in a microlight — a type of lightweight aircraft; and the first Belgian to circumnavigate the world solo in a single-engine aircraft.
Rutherford began her journey from Belgium on Aug. 18, 2021 and, according to her arrivals board, she is scheduled to return to Belgium on Jan. 13, 2022.
The original flight plan would have ended in Belgium before Christmas, but Rutherford told Reuters she was delayed in Alaska and Russia.
“I was stuck in Alaska because of visa and weather issues for a month and I was stuck in Russia for a month because of visa and weather issues,” she said. “I was hoping to complete it by Christmas but I guess that’s not happening anymore, but it’s an adventure.”
Rutherford arrived in Taipei, Taiwan on Tuesday. She travels to Mabalacat, Philippines next, according to her arrivals board.
If she completes her 32,000-mile journey (51,000 km), the young pilot will have traveled to 52 countries and five continents, according to her website.
Rutherford is flying a Shark Aero, a high-performance, two-seat ultralight aircraft manufactured in Europe, especially prepared for a long journey, according to her website. The plane can reach a cruising speed of 186.4 miles per hour.
The cost of the trip is being picked up by sponsors and airports and Shark Aero, a Slovakian company provided her with the aircraft, the New York Times reported.
The current record-holder for the youngest woman to fly solo around the world is Shaesta Waez, who completed her trip in 2017, at the age of 30, according to Guinness.
The youngest teenager to fly around the world did so this year at the age of 18, according to Guinness World Records. UK native Travis Ludlow started his 44-day trip on May 29, 2021, after the COVID-19 pandemic delayed his original June 2020 start date.