Australia approves first coal mine in a year, despite climate concerns
COAL & MINING

Australia approves first coal mine in a year, despite climate concerns

Australia's centre-left Labor government has approved a new coal mine for the first time since it won power a year ago, sparking an angry reaction from environmental groups. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's government has authorised Bowen Coking Coal's Isaac River mine project in Queensland to extract metallurgical coal for making steel.

The mine is relatively small in scale, but it is the first new coal mine to be given the go-ahead by the government, which won many voters over by promising to slash planet-warming carbon emissions after a decade of Australian foot-dragging on climate action.

A spokesperson for Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said that the government had to make decisions in accordance with the facts and the national environment law. She said that the government had doubled renewable energy approvals to a record high since the election, and that it would continue to consider each project on a case-by-case basis under the law.

The Australian Conservation Foundation criticised the decision, saying that it ignored climate science. The foundation's climate expert Gavan McFadzean said that the world's climate scientists had all been clear for years that we must immediately stop digging up and burning coal if we want a safe climate. He said that wherever in the world our coal and gas is burnt, it makes climate damage in Australia worse.

Bowen Coking Coal welcomed the decision, saying that it was there to meet the growing demand for energy and steelmaking coal.

Australia's economy is fuelled by mining and coal exports, and it is among the world's biggest emitters of carbon dioxide per capita.

Heavy storms in 2022 caused catastrophic floods on Australia's east coast, in which more than 20 people died.

The "Black Summer" bushfires of 2019-2020 burned more than eight million hectares of native vegetation, while marine heatwaves caused mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef in 2016, 2017 and 2020.

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Australia's centre-left Labor government has approved a new coal mine for the first time since it won power a year ago, sparking an angry reaction from environmental groups. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's government has authorised Bowen Coking Coal's Isaac River mine project in Queensland to extract metallurgical coal for making steel. The mine is relatively small in scale, but it is the first new coal mine to be given the go-ahead by the government, which won many voters over by promising to slash planet-warming carbon emissions after a decade of Australian foot-dragging on climate action. A spokesperson for Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said that the government had to make decisions in accordance with the facts and the national environment law. She said that the government had doubled renewable energy approvals to a record high since the election, and that it would continue to consider each project on a case-by-case basis under the law. The Australian Conservation Foundation criticised the decision, saying that it ignored climate science. The foundation's climate expert Gavan McFadzean said that the world's climate scientists had all been clear for years that we must immediately stop digging up and burning coal if we want a safe climate. He said that wherever in the world our coal and gas is burnt, it makes climate damage in Australia worse. Bowen Coking Coal welcomed the decision, saying that it was there to meet the growing demand for energy and steelmaking coal. Australia's economy is fuelled by mining and coal exports, and it is among the world's biggest emitters of carbon dioxide per capita. Heavy storms in 2022 caused catastrophic floods on Australia's east coast, in which more than 20 people died. The Black Summer bushfires of 2019-2020 burned more than eight million hectares of native vegetation, while marine heatwaves caused mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef in 2016, 2017 and 2020. Also Read Mineral production index for mining sector rose 4.6% to 129 in Feb Metals recycling firm Runaya sees revenues doubling in FY24

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