NO MORE COAL: Jeremy Buckingham says mine huge amounts of coal is incompatible with addressing climate change. Photo: Gareth Gardner 210815GGB16ENVIRONMENTALISTShave applauded a bill to ban new coal mines in NSW, but the resource industry has unanimously panned the move, saying it would cause economic hardship in regional areas.
Greens energy and resource spokesman Jeremy Buckingham introduced the legislation to the NSW Legislative Council, which if enacted would prohibit the approval of any new coal mines or coal mine expansions –including the Shenhua Watermark mine on the Liverpool Plains.
It’s the first time a bill to ban new coal mines has been introduced to an Australian parliament.
Mr Buckingham said governments had made excuses for too long, while the coal industry rapidly expanded.
“It’s not the Greens who say we must rapidly phase out coal, it is the science,” Mr Buckingham said.
“The science says that 95 per centof NSW’s coal must stay in the ground if we are to have a 50 per centchance of avoiding two degrees of global warming.
“For the sake of the climate we must deal with coal and the first step is to ban new coal mines and mine expansions, and then to implement a transition strategy to shift from coal to renewable energy and diversify regional economies.”
In NSW there are applications to mine anadditional 1.8 billion tonnes of new coal.
NSW Minerals Council chief executive Stephen Galilee said the state and its regional areas would suffer if new coal mines were banned.
“Mr Buckingham’s bill is a recipe for economic catastrophe that would cost tens of thousands of jobs and plunge NSW into deep recession,” Mr Galilee said.
Mr Buckingham hoped the bill would provoke a debate about the future of coal and climate change.
“Because it is obvious that the NSW Government is wilfully ignoring this profound problem,” he said.
“It’s time for the Labor Party to have the hard conversations and an internal debate about the future of thermal coal mining in a climate constrained world.”
The bill is expected to be debated and voted on when NSW parliament resumes sitting in November.
The Leader has contact NSW Resource Minister Anthony Roberts for comment.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.