The Lock the Gate Alliance will politely confront decision makers as they make their way into government offices at 52 Martin Place tomorrow morning (Wednesday November 15, from 8am), and deliver flyers about 12* proposed new coal mine expansions that would be responsible for two billion tonnes of greenhouse pollution.
The flyer handout coincides with the launch of LTGA’s new coal watch website. The web page keeps count of coal mine projects proposed for NSW and explains how they each pose direct threats to nearby communities, while at the same time supercharging global warming.
Collectively, the planned new coal projects would:
Be responsible for at least two billion tonnes of greenhouse pollution, equivalent to 15 years worth of NSW's current annual domestic emissions.
Drain large volumes of groundwater and surface water
Clear endangered ecosystems and threaten populations of endangered animals including the koala.
Worsen air quality for communities like those in the Upper Hunter, where rates of respiratory disease are already higher than average.
The flyer handout also comes as Hunter Valley Operations - the largest coal project proposed for NSW since the Paris Agreement entered into force - responded to criticism of its Environmental Impact Statement.
Lock the Gate Alliance NSW Coordinator Nic Clyde said, “We want government staffers and decision makers to understand that we are in a climate crisis.
“While every man, woman, child, dog, and goldfish is saying governments cannot afford to open new fossil fuel projects, the NSW Minns administration is considering doing the opposite and approving coal projects worth two billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
“The Minns Government has done nothing to change the John Barilaro era pro-coal policies that encourage coal projects at the expense of communities who are suffering due to increasingly severe climate impacts like fires, droughts, and floods.
“The policies of the previous government encourage coal mine approvals no matter the climate impact. It’s not on and it needs to change.
“The NSW Government has a Climate Bill in Parliament right now, but if immense expansions like Yancoal and Glencore’s HVO goes ahead, according to the government’s own reckoning, they will make it near impossible to meet the state’s net zero goal.
“The Minns Government can leave a positive legacy by putting climate action first and turning its back on out-dated pro-coal policies of the previous government.”
*While the coal watch website lists 14 possible new coal projects, two have been proposed by companies but are yet to go before the Planning Department, so details remain scarce.