The Australian Greens are alarmed by reports today that mining giants are urging the Abbott Government to push coal on developing countries through Australia’s presidency of the G20.
“The Mineral Council’s audacity in claiming coal will help people in developing countries is outrageous,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens mining spokesperson, said.
“Australia’s mega coal exports threaten our Pacific neighbours with extreme weather and sweeping devastation from rising sea levels.
“We should be using our position as G20 host to highlight the impacts of climate change in our region and to urge for an end to fossil fuel subsidies globally – not forcing our climate-destroying coal exports on developing countries.
“The big mining companies are acting out of self-interest here and trying to pass it off as concern for people in developing countries.
“This is an obvious attempt by the big mining companies to try and wind back previous progress made in Russia where countries committed to removing fossil subsides.
“The world wants action on climate change. Global leader after global leader is coming out in support, with the latest being John Kerry, and the coal price has dropped significantly because countries like China are opting for renewable alternatives.
“Australia has the potential to lead a transition to renewable energy, instead of putting our Pacific neighbours at grave risk of becoming climate refugees by exporting hundreds of mega tonnes of coal through our Great Barrier Reef.
“With the massive influence the big mining companies wield over the old parties, the Abbott Government is subsidising the fossil fuel industry, instead of embracing viable renewable alternatives that won’t cost our climate,” Senator Waters said.