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Galilee basin coal must be left in ground as a ‘priority’ - New report

Coal News - Published on Mon, 26 Sep 2016

Image Source: The Gurdian
According to a new report showing existing fossil fuels projects worldwide are enough to push global warming beyond 2C, miners seeking the green light to dig up Queensland’s Galilee basin should be stopped as a priority.

The report by the research and advocacy group Oil Change International argues there is a compelling case for the six Galilee coalmining proposals in the hands of Australian regulators to be axed in line with a “managed decline” of global coal, oil and gas supplies already on tap.

It shows the embedded carbon emissions from operating fields and mines worldwide, if run to the end of their projected lifetimes, would drive warming beyond the 2C limit laid down by last year’s Paris agreement. Developed oil and gas reserves alone would take warming beyond the aspirational 1.5C target.

The report shows that if Australia fully exploited its untapped coal reserves – the third largest in the world behind the US and Russia – the resulting emissions would blow almost a third of the world’s carbon budget for 1.5C.

About a fifth of these emissions (24 gigatonnes) would come from the six Galilee mining hopefuls who have applied for permits.

The largest is Adani’s Carmichael mine, which over its lifetime would contribute more than half of these emissions through 5 bn tonnes of coal.

The China First mine proposal by Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal, which like others in the Galilee appears to hinge on Adani paving the way with rail infrastructure, is the third largest at 1bn tonnes.

The report singles out Australia and the Galilee as being on the “frontline of expansion” of the global coal industry and stopping this development “must be a priority”.

It said that “The consequence of our analysis is that no new extractive or facilitating infrastructure should be built anywhere in the worl.”

Fellow coal giants China and Indonesia have enacted temporary bans on new coalmines and the US has a limited moratorium on new mines on public land.

The report said that leaves Australia as one of just “two countries that are currently proceeding with major coalmining development”, along with India.

India, with its urgent need for economic uplift and relatively low contribution to historical emissions, could be given a “generous support package” funded by wealthy countries to pursue low-carbon development. But the “hard choices” by governments about phasing out existing projects should start in the developed countries such as Australia, the report says.

Adani, an Indian conglomerate, has argued its Australian mine would be pivotal in helping the Indian electricity sector move towards making cheap energy available to the impoverished. The “energy poverty” argument is contested by Adani’s critics.

The company, which has been embroiled in a long series of legal challenges in Queensland from traditional owners and conservationists, has reportedly downsized the first phase of its mine and put off an investment decision till the end of 2017.

Source :

Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Mon, 26 Sep 2016
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