Lock the Gate Alliance has welcomed Glencore’s statement today that it intends to restrict coal production to current levels because of climate change impacts, saying the decision makes sense at a time when the world is warming at an alarming rate due in large part to the burning of coal.
Carmel Flint, spokesperson for Lock the Gate Alliance, said, "This is a very significant move from Glencore, who are one of the world’s largest coal miners, and it sends a powerful signal that thermal coal is in decline globally.
"However, the statement may not go far enough, because deep cuts in coal mining and burning are needed to meet Paris climate targets, and maintaining current levels of production is not sufficient to deliver on that.
"The true test of the statement will be in whether Glencore acts immediately to withdraw from new coal mining projects it has on its books – especially the proposed Wandoan coal project on the Western Downs of Queensland and the United Wambo project in the Hunter Valley in NSW.
"Both mines would make a massive contribution to global warming, as well as causing major damage to land and water and harming communities, and should be shelved permanently and not sold on to another company.
"We’re calling for Glencore to demonstrate it is serious about implementation of its climate statement and confirm that it will now drop these two projects and any other coal expansion projects currently proposed in Australia.
"Regardless of what happens next, this announcement by Glencore today backs up the validity of the recent landmark decision by the NSW Land and Environment Court to reject the proposed Rocky Hill coal mine near Gloucester, based in part on downstream carbon emissions.
"Glencore’s announcement should also sound a massive warning to state and federal governments that it’s time to get on board with mainstream views on climate change action and invest now to support regional communities to prepare for the decline of coal," she said.