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Australia's coal obsession threatens Australian workers and global climate efforts

Media Release
Larissa Waters 1 Dec 2015

The Turnbull Government's obsession with coal undermines the global momentum in Paris, and threatens the health of Australian workers.

"It was devastating to hear this morning that four Queensland coalmine workers have been diagnosed with black lung. There is no cure for this terrible disease, and we must make sure that this is not the James Hardie of the coal industry," said Deputy Leader and climate spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters.

"The health impacts of coal are well documented, and it is clear that there has been an outrageous failure of regulation from government and callous disregard from the big mining companies for the health and safety of their workers.

"This news is particularly jarring given that yesterday the Prime Minister refused to sign onto the United Nations communique to phase out subsidies to the destructive and dangerous coal industry.

"On top of the terrible health implications of digging up and burning coal, data released this morning showed that Queensland's mega Adani coal mine alone could wipe out Australia's 5% pollution reduction target three times over.

"New research shows that the toxic, dangerous Adani mine will create more pollution that the pledged pollution reductions of Switzerland, Norway, Australia, Mexico and Canada between 2012 and 2025.

"The Abbott-Turnbull climate policies are a complete farce. It's appalling that 146 countries are here in Paris working towards a global solution to the climate crisis and the Australian Government is approving dirty coal mines that could undermine the entire process," said Senator Waters.


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