THE CLIMATE COUNCIL has labelled the body that advises the NSW Government on coal licenses “drastically out of touch” today.
“People across NSW have been fighting a devastating and unprecedented early start to the fire season. At the same time the government is being advised to open new mines that are fuelling the problem. It is insanity and the Government must immediately distance itself from these recommendations,” said Senior Climate Council Researcher, Tim Baxter.
The Advisory Body for Strategic Release has today recommended that the NSW Government approve the development of the Hawkins-Rumker area in the central tablelands and the Wollar field near Bylong.
“We are talking about a state that has just been hit with unprecedented and catastrophic bushfires in September, and is suffering through an extreme, prolonged drought, itself unprecedented. These conditions are being exacerbated by climate change, which is being driven by the extraction and burning of fossil fuels,” said Baxter.
“These impacts come at a great cost to people’s homes, livelihoods, and local communities. No government could accept this advice without completely tossing aside the well-being of their constituents, and the regional economy,” he said.
“We cannot open up any new polluting coal mines if we have any chance of dealing with the intensifying climate crisis that is unfolding,” said Baxter.
“The advice from this body cannot be acted upon and it is imperative that the Minister dismisses it,” he said.
“The NSW Government has a net-zero target by 2050 and it has the potential to become an international hub for renewable energy. It is time they got on with the job,” said Baxter.
“Simply put – coal is on the way out. The economic benefits of any future coal mines in NSW will be completely overshadowed by the colossal costs associated with climate change,” he said.
“We are perfectly positioned to take advantage of the global renewable boom that is underway. As the sunniest and one of the windiest countries in the world – it is a no-brainer,” said Baxter.
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