Australian coalmining has become a ''rogue industry'' and most of the coal slated for export must stay in the ground if the nation is to tackle climate change, according to prominent US environmentalist Bill McKibben.

Many coal projects, and coal infrastructure projects in Queensland, are expected to run for decades, and are only now gaining development approval.

But the federal government has pledged to reduce Australia's greenhouse output by 80 per cent by the middle of the century, putting it on a collision course with the resources expansion