Kepco’s Bylong mine can’t escape climate reality any longer

Published: March 08, 2019

Mining company KEPCO’s new submission to the Independent Planning Commission on its proposed Bylong Valley coal project is recognition the Rocky Hill judgement changed the way the IPC should consider new coal mines in New South Wales, according to Lock the Gate Alliance. 1.

KEPCO has submitted new information to the Commission this week confirming that “Scope 3” (downstream burning) emissions from the Bylong proposal, which would destroy farmland in the picturesque Bylong Valley, will be 197.4 Mt - more than five times the Scope 3 emissions the Rocky Hill coal mine would have produced.

“Rocky Hill was in part rejected by the Land and Environment Court on the grounds it would contribute to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and would not be consistent with efforts to achieve the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees or 1.5 degrees,” Lock the Gate spokesperson Georgina Woods said.

"Given the downstream emissions from Bylong coal mine would be five times that of the Rocky Hill mine, refusing the Bylong coal mine project will make a meaningful contribution to remaining within the carbon budget for achieving the long term temperature goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and that's what the Independent Planning Commission needs to do.

"Australians are already suffering the impacts of climate change and there is so little time left to prevent the problem escalating beyond our control. 

“The public expects all responsible agencies to use the powers available to them to act. 

"The Independent Planning Commission cannot in good conscience let the Bylong Valley be opened up to coal mining. It's a coal mine in the wrong place and at the wrong time. 

"Meeting the Paris climate agreement goals means both Australia and the Republic of Korea will need to phase out coal use in the next decade. 

"We need to be honest about the incompatibility of continued coal exports from New South Wales and our shared goal to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees, and we need a ten year plan to help the Hunter region adjust to a necessary decline in coal use."

KEPCO’s greenhouse gas submission can be found here:https://www.ipcn.nsw.gov.au/resources/pac/media/files/pac/projects/2018/10/bylong-coal-project/additional-information-from-kepco/bylong-coal-project--scope-3-ghg-emissions.pdf

1. Scope 3 emissions from Rocky Hill would have been 37.8Mt over the projected life of the proposed Rocky Hill mine (at [515] of the judgment in Gloucester Resources v Minister for Planning).

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