The Hunter’s coal industry has been forced to do some serious soul-searching this week, after the release of a United Nations report calling for the end of fossil fuel usage amidst a “code red for humanity”.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that billions of people would soon be at risk due to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and a prospective global temperature increase of 1.5 degrees by 2040.

Despite the findings, the Federal Government have maintained they will continue to support the fossil fuel sector to meet a rising coal demand in coming decades.

Shortland MP and Shadow Minister Assisting for Climate Change Pat Conroy says the report should be a “wake-up call”.

“It’s very sober reading, it’s depressing quite frankly,” Mr Conroy said.

“But the good news is that the report makes it very clear that it’s not too late for humans to arrest this global warming, and arrest and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”

“There is still hope, but it needs the world to take a concerted action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Opposition has faced its own internal strife about climate change policy, with Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon playing down the country’s contributions to global emissions, and Paterson MP Meryl Swanson calling for a measured approach to preserve local jobs.

But Mr Conroy says the lack of action isn’t just bad for the environment, but a poor business decision too.

“We’re missing out on these huge economic opportunities of the new industries that are being created to help decarbonise the world,” Mr Conroy said.

“We’re missing out on electric vehicle manufacturing, battery manufacturing on a significant scale, and all the other industries.”

“There’s a huge economic opportunity if we take action on climate change, and a huge cost if we don’t.”