Coal Mine opening shows Beattie Government’s disregard for climate change

Friends of the Earth Brisbane says that today’s announcement of the opening of a new coal mine near Clermont in Queensland signals that the Beattie Government is not taking the threat of climate change seriously.

January 10, 2007

“A government serious about addressing climate change should be leaving coal in the ground and start shifting towards developing a strong renewable energy industry” said Friends of the Earth’s Climate Justice spokesperson Emma Brindal.

“The Beattie government is yet again demonstrating its short-sightedness in focusing on short-term profits. While the cost of electricity generated from coal is cheap, it does not count the health, economic and social costs of air pollution and climate change” said Ms Brindal.  “Moving towards using solar, wind and tidal power, cogeneration, and bioenergy, will allow us to make the emissions reductions required to avert catastrophic climate change. These technologies are readily available, yet the Queensland government is unwilling to get their heads out of the coal pit” said Ms Brindal.

“A strong renewables industry would mean more jobs - for every unit of energy produced by conventional fossil fuels, we could create three to five more jobs than we have in coal.”

“$8.9 billion per year goes to subsidising the fossil fuel industry in Australia. This money should be reinvested into a just transition strategy for coal workers to move into the renewable energy industry.”
“Scientists now recognise that a minimum 80% reduction of greenhouse emissions on 1990 levels by 2050 is required to avert dangerous climate change. This means the Queensland government needs to set an interim target of 20% reductions by 2020. Furthermore, a renewable energy target of 25% by 2020 is required to get us on track to achieving these emissions reductions. Currently only 4% of Queensland’s energy comes from renewable sources – a figure which must be urgently increased” said Ms Brindal.

More information: Emma Brindal 0411 084 727