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Nature

Welcome to coal world: Australia's unprogressive energy policy

September 27th, 2012
in:Nature
by:fairplanet
located in:Australia
tags:Australia, carbon, climate-change, coal, global-warming, great barrier reef, Greenpeace, mine

Earlier this year, Greenpeace highlighted the industrialisation of our Great Barrier Reef, with new coal ports, dredging operations and increased shipping planned in the World Heritage Area. These impacts are just the part of the story.

Industrialising one of the world’s greatest natural treasures is part of the larger plan to dramatically increase our coal mining and coal exports. Australia is about to embark on an unprecedented coal expansion and the frontier for the rush is the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland. Today, for the first time, Greenpeace can reveal the contribution these mines will make to global climate change. Mining the Galilee Basin is in direct conflict with Australia’s commitment to limit global warming and undermines global efforts to prevent its worst effects.

Key Findings:

  • To export the coal from Galilee, enormous coal ports would be built and expanded in the World Heritage Area. If plans go ahead, two ports – Abbot Point and Hay Point – would be two of the largest in the world.
  • If we don’t reduce our emissions, sea temperatures will rise. If they rise by 2-3C, 97% of the Reef may be bleached annually.
  • Thousands of hectares of farmland and bushland will be destroyed to make way for the mines and the rail lines, and our groundwater would be threatened with contamination.

Greenpeace is calling on the Australian Government to:

  1. Halt all proposals to expand coal mining and exports, starting with the proposed mega-mines in the Galilee Basin
  2. Prioritise the protection of the Great Barrier Reef and stop the development of new coal ports and terminals along the coast.
  3. Immediately embark on independent analysis of the contribution of Australia’s coal exports to climate change, and development of a national policy framework to control it.

Sign the petiton "Save the Reef" now. 

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