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Queensland Coalmine Increases Greenhouse Gas Emissions without Penalty – FOI

Coal News - Published on Wed, 14 Aug 2019

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The Guardian reported that an Australian coalmine has nearly doubled its greenhouse gas emissions in two years without penalty under a Coalition climate policy that promised to put a limit on industrial pollution. Mining company Anglo American was given the green light to increase emissions at its Moranbah North mine, in central Queensland, twice since 2016, according to documents released under freedom of information laws. The pollution increase was approved under a scheme known as the safeguard mechanism, which promised to ensure cuts paid for by taxpayers through the government’s direct action emissions reduction fund were not just wiped out by rises elsewhere.

Coalition's climate policy has allowed heavy industry to increase emissions by nearly a third

The documents show Anglo American was approved to increase its annual emissions from 1.3m tonnes to more than 2.3m tonnes a year. An equivalent cut in carbon pollution to offset that increase would have cost taxpayers AUD 13.7 million.

The Australian Conservation Foundation, which received the documents, said the failure to impose a hard pollution cap on big companies was the main reason national emissions were rising each year at odds with the government’s pledge at the Paris climate summit.

The documents show Anglo American exceeded its safeguard limit of 1.30m tonnes in 2016/17 and would have been required to buy carbon credits to make up the difference but applied to the Clean Energy Regulator, which administers the scheme, to have its baseline retrospectively set at 1.36m tonnes. The change was approved in January 2018.

In 2017/18, emissions from the site jumped to 2.33m tonnes, a 71% increase in a year. The company was granted a new baseline, confirmed in February this year, that allows it to emit 6.7m tonnes over the three years to June 2020.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Wed, 14 Aug 2019
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