Queensland defying expert advice by ignoring clean energy, waiving rules and fees for polluting coal, gas companies

SYDNEY, May 6 2020 - The Queensland Government’s decision to sacrifice thousands of square kilometres of land to mining and gift millions of taxpayer dollars to climate-wrecking coal and gas miners, is at odds with the best economic advice, urging Australia to strive for a clean energy-led recovery.

This morning, Queensland Mines Minister Anthony Lynham announced that the state will release more than 6,800 square kilometres to coal and fossil gas mining, provide millions of dollars in direct subsidies aad cover fees that private mining companies would otherwise pay for publicly-owned resources. [1]

“By doubling down on outdated and dirty fossil fuels, Lynham is taking the opposite approach to the International Energy Agency and world-leading economists, who are urging countries to build their economic recovery plans on clean energy sources like wind and solar,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific spokesperson, Jonathan Moylan said.

“Fossil fuel companies cause dangerous air pollution and should not be pushing for handouts in the midst of a national pandemic that has hit those already exposed to air pollution the hardest.

“By ignoring the experts calling for more investment in clean energy and making concessions for destructive mining companies, Minister Lynham is risking Queensland’s economic future and the health of its residents ”

The head of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, has also urged governments to seize the “historic opportunity for the world to create packages to recover the economy, reduce dirty investments and accelerate the energy transition.” [2]

The sentiment was echoed by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Sir Nicholas Stern, who have demonstrated that renewable energy projects deliver twice as many jobs dollar-for-dollar compared with fossil fuels.

And yesterday, the Australian Industry Group said governments should avoid “emissions-intensive projects” and advised accelerating the shift to clean energy to deliver employment, economic growth, and improve energy security. [3]

 

Notes

[1] http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2020/5/6/govt-package-backs-explorers-for-future-jobs

[2] https://www.climatechangenews.com/2020/03/17/governments-historic-opportunity-accelerate-clean-energy-transition-iea-says/

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/05/australian-businesses-call-for-climate-crisis-and-virus-economic-recovery-to-be-tackled-together

 

Contact

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Communications Campaigner, Martin Zavan

0424 295 422

[email protected]