New NSW emissions laws would provide welcome clarity

Published: 23 Oct 2019

New proposed laws to prevent emissions produced overseas being considered in local mining approvals are a sensible measure to provide clarity to NSW’s valuable export coal industry, the Miners Union said today.

CFMEU Mining and Energy General Secretary Grahame Kelly said that holding local developments responsible for emissions produced overseas from using coal for energy or steel-making was contrary to global agreements for tackling climate change.

“Local mining projects, including coal mines, need to be responsible for emissions they produce in their operation, that is their scope 1 and 2 emissions,” he said.

“But making coal mines in Australia responsible for emissions of their customers, who are mostly overseas, is like making Japanese car makers responsible for the emissions of Japanese cars in Australia.

“The Paris Agreement says countries must take responsibility for emissions where they are produced and it is what NSW planning law should reflect.

“NSW coal developments should of course be required to meet stringent environmental approvals – but to consider Scope 3 emissions for export coal is a distraction that doesn’t assist Australia to meet its own climate commitments.”