With ‘leaders’ (sic), puppets and stooges meeting for the G20 meeting in Brisbane this week, the role of coal in development and poverty alleviation is being relentlessly talked up, with Australian politicians from the Prime Minister down running coal industry PR lines.

However, while Tony Abbott insists that coal is the “foundation of prosperity”, a new report from The Australia Institute shows that while the industry talks a big game on fighting poverty, it doesn’t even use coal to help the energy poor in the developing world.

The report All talk, no action: the coal industry and energy poverty finds that on the few occasions coal companies have spent money to help the energy-poor, they ironically tended to use distributed, off-grid renewables or hydro power at best. At worst, G20 sponsor Peabody Coal literally did nothing to help the energy poor other than push a website and PR campaign designed to influence public policy and opinion.