Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Coal Industry Under Attack Over Worsening Climate Change

March 01, 2013 -

After the Bureau of Meteorology confirmed Australia suffered its hottest summer on record, Greenpeace is calling on politicians to get their heads out the sand and address the massive ongoing expansion of the coal export industry.

The greenhouse gases from burning Australia's exported coal are Australia's biggest contribution to climate change and with significant expansion plans underway for coal mining and exports in NSW and Queensland, this contribution is set to grow.

"This summer has been a taste of what is to come in an altered climate," said senior climate campaigner, Dr. Georgina Woods. "The world is heading for four degrees of global warming unless concerted action is taken. Here in Australia it is time to stop making excuses and halt the expansion of the coal industry."

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the summer of 2012-13 was Australia's hottest on record. The six months from September 2012 to February 2013 were also warmer than the previous high for that period, set in 2006-2007. Australia has warmed by nearly a degree Celsius since 1910.

"In January, 20 prominent Australians and 40 non-government organisations endorsed a statement calling for a halt to the expansion of the coal export industry because of its contribution to climate change," said Dr. Woods. "The Government has yet to respond to this urgent call for action and continues to approve new and expanding coal projects."

Earlier this month this research released by the CSIRO confirmed that Australia's fossil fuel exports are Australia's largest contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions.

"We have two of our respected scientific institutions telling us on the one hand that our climate is heating up to record levels and on the other hand that we have doubled our exported carbon dioxide emissions," said Dr Woods.

"The coal industry has to accept reality. Their business model is driving the world towards irreversible harm: we can no longer allow this to go unrestrained. The Australian Government has power to control the export of dangerous substances. Now is the time to act."

Greenpeace is running a billboard in Canberra this month featuring the warning from the IMF's Christine Lagarde that future generations will be "roasted, toasted, fried and grilled" without concerted action on climate change.

Key Facts and Figures

The greenhouse gases from burning Australia's exported coal are Australia's biggest contribution to climate change and with significant expansion plans underway for coal mining and exports in NSW and Queensland, this contribution is set to grow.

About

SOURCE: Greenpeace Australia Pacific

(ENDS)

Contact Details

Further comment or information:
Dr Georgina Woods: 0437 405 932
Julie Macken: 0400 925 217

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