A Central Queensland environment council running a legal intervention seeking the climate impacts of major coal and gas proposals be assessed says Glencore’s flagged withdrawal of its proposed Valeria mine is a signal to all fossil fuel operators.
The Environment Council of Central Queensland (ECoCeQ), represented by Environmental Justice Australia, launched a landmark legal intervention in July requesting the Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek reconsider the impacts of almost all the major coal and gas projects currently on her desk for assessment – this time accounting for the way these proposals would fuel climate change.
“Glencore’s indication that it will pull the plug on its Valeria coal mine is a clear signal to all fossil fuel companies that Australia and the world are moving to cleaner, safer energy sources,” Environment Council of Central Queensland President Christine Carlisle said.
“Glencore’s decision suggests the company has seen the writing on the wall: the state of our climate means new fossil fuel projects are high risk.
“The science is stark. Our climate is breaking down. More coal and gas would just be adding fuel to the fire we need to put out.
“We must recognise the potentially catastrophic impact new coal and gas proposals would have on the thousands of iconic places, plants and animals we all want our children and grandchildren to know and love.
“Climate change threatens more than 2120 protected animals, plants and places. In Queensland this includes the Great Barrier Reef, the wet tropics, koalas, dugongs and turtles – just to name a few.
“The Valeria coal mine would have produced up to 560 million tonnes of product coal over its 35-year lifespan. This coal alone would release more than one billion tonnes of carbon emissions.”
Environmental Justice Australia principal lawyer Hollie Kerwin said: “Our client’s legal intervention presented the Minister with thousands of pieces of evidence, documenting the unequivocal effects of climate change on thousands of matters of national environmental significance,”
“The requests by our client aim to ensure that, for the first time, the application of environmental assessment law in Australia accounts for the reality of climate change.
“We will work with ECoCeQ to understand the details and implications of Glencore’s announcement.”
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