Queensland coal mines to rival electricity sector for climate pollution by 2030, report finds
Graham Readfearn reports in TheGuardian about eighteen new coal projects in Australia representing a ‘carbon bomb’ that should not be approved, according to conservationists.
In a nutshell:
New findings from a report by the Queensland Conservation Council and Lock the Gate reveal that methane emissions escaping from coal mines in Queensland could rival the state's electricity sector in climate pollution by 2030. The report estimates that methane emissions from new coal mines will increase to 23.7 megatons of CO2-equivalent by 2030, up from 17.4Mt in 2021, potentially negating reductions expected from emissions safeguards. Queensland's efforts to reduce emissions, particularly in its coal-heavy industry, face scrutiny as it lags behind other Australian states in emissions targets.
Clare Silcock, an energy strategist at Queensland Conservation Council, said: “To truly take action on climate change, the Queensland Palaszczuk government cannot approve the new coalmines and expansions in the pipeline. Our research shows building new coalmines is completely counterproductive to any other emissions reduction policy.”
The big picture:
Coal mines release greenhouse gases like methane, contributing to global warming and climate change. As a result, there is an increased risk of extreme weather events, heatwaves and changing disease patterns, all of which can harm human health. The burning of coal also releases air pollutants such as particulate matter and sulfur dioxide, which are linked to respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases and even premature death. Addressing climate pollution, especially from coal mining, is not only vital for mitigating climate change but also for safeguarding public health.
Read the article in The Guardian.
Find out more about coal mining and human health: In the U.S., swapping out coal energy for solar would prevent 52,000 premature deaths every year, Brian Bienkowski reported for EHN.