Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Australian Coal Development Projects to Move Forward Despite Environment, Climate and Economic Concerns

Despite the massive environmental and climate impacts, the government of Queensland Australia is moving forward with new coal projects and a sea port. The new Labor government in Queensland has just announced that it will promote development in the Gaililee Basin and develop a coal port in Abbot Point.

In the face of massive opposition, dredging operations for the port have been greenlighted as have two large scale coal projects.

Two Indian conglomerates Adani Enterprises and GVK, have been awarded separate projects worth at least $13 billion US.

The new Queenland government disregarded concerns about carbon emissions and damage to the Great Barrier Reef, emphasizing their desire to promote jobs in the mining industry. State development minister Anthony Lynham told Reuters in an interview, "we encourage mining, especially in the Galilee Basin, because we know that if the area is opened up, others will follow."

Based on Adani's woeful environmental record in India, Greenpeace and community group GetUp had been pushing the the government to revoke its approvals.

The science indicates that 90 percent of Australia's coal reserves must stay underground if we are to have a shot at staving off the worst impacts of climate change. There are very real market issues that call into question the value of the new sea port and expanded coal development.

Existing Queensland coal mines are already running at a loss now due to an oversupplied market and uncertain demand growth. Coal is being rejected by a number of countries and organizations like the World Bank have indicated that they will no longer fund coal projects.

Australia's coal development projects may end up being little more than another stranded asset.

Final approval could take as little as four months.

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