Australia lobbies coal mine at climate talks

In what can only be described as hilariously sad, Australia’s energy minister Josh Frydenberg has used the climate talks in Marrakech to lobby support for what could become one of the largest coal mines in the world.

Australia’s coal production shows no signs of slowing down. Image credits: Wikipedia.

While in Marrakech, Morocco, people are working to find ways to protect the planet’s climate, Australia seems to be on a different path. The country has been repeatedly singled out as a laggard in addressing climate change, coming ahead of only Kazakhstan, South Korea, Japan and Saudi Arabia in a UN climate report. Another, separate study conducted by the London School of Economics, found that out of the G20 countries, Australia – as well as Argentina, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the US – were “falling behind with their national climate mitigation action”.

Furthermore, some provinces and cities in Australia have independently tried to act more boldly but received little support from the government. This has been criticized both externally, and internally. The Australian Conservation Foundation’s chief executive, Kelly O’Shanassy, said:

“The government spruiks its climate credentials but Australia remains a laggard on cutting climate pollution. The world is watching as our pollution rises and governments support new mega-polluting coalmines.”

But that’s not all. Australia is openly defiant and even hypocritical in its climate strategy. Although they recently signed the Paris agreement, Australian environment and energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, lobbied for the opening of a new, grand coal mine. If the Carmichael mine goes ahead, it will easily become the biggest in Australia and one of the largest in the world. Coal is, of course, one of the most CO2 intensive industries and one of the first we must phase out to ensure a sustainable future for the planet.

Australia’s government defended its coal mine, saying that “Australia had a very effective environmental approvals process” and that “We should decide what mining projects are opened up in this country and the circumstances in which they open.”

Frydenberg was upset that a US NGO which had ties to the Democratic party was sponsoring activists in Australia. A campaign was sparked in Australian newspapers, vigorously contesting the activists and their activities.

“Such authority rests with Australia’s democratically elected representatives and established government processes. It does not belong with overseas governments (including prospective US presidents or their staff), self-appointed meddling international activists or local vigilante ‘lawfare’ litigants funded by activists.”

For this move, Australia was named the “Fossil of the Day” – a faux award given to countries or companies who fail to address climate change properly. The Climate Action Network which organizes this award, stated:

We don’t mean to gossip, but today the Australian Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg was caught complaining to US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz about American charities standing in solidarity with Australian communities who are fighting to prevent the construction of the largest ever coal mine down under – Adani’s Carmichael mine. Australia ratified the Paris Agreement last Friday, so lobbying for coal expansion at the United Nations climate negotiations is an ugly, ugly thing to be doing. Shape up, Australia.

8 thoughts on “Australia lobbies coal mine at climate talks

  1. Gabriel Vargas

    they are creating a bubble, all people the invest on coal today will be lost a lot money on the following years. they don't see the solar and wind will get so cheap, the nobody will buy your coal.

  2. Richard A. Fletcher

    I see that ZME Science has been drinking the same Kool-Aid that the Obama administration has been serving. Never mind that real data shows that there is climate is been fairly consistent over the last 4000 years, .

  3. Richard A. Fletcher

    When the next Ice Age strikes, we will all be needing as much energy as we can find, else many of us will likely freeze to death, a more dangerous situation than Global Warming (AGW) .It's easy to adapt to increased heat, simply dressing properly and adding insulation to homes and businesses.

  4. Gabriel Vargas

    when you have signals that something is not right in the body, you go to the doctor, and he tell you, you have cancer then you go to second opinion and tell you that you have cancer, then 99 doctors tell you have a cancer, then the number 100 tell you, you are fine. which one you believe?

    I don't want to change you mind,just I want to make my point

    1.- 99 % of the world sciences that study everything relate with the planet are telling us, something is happen.
    2.- you can start see some effects in Miami, California ..etc.
    3.- all countries know that is happening and they are working to minimize the effects.
    4.- the Army, Navy, etc are telling us, this is a national security issue.

    which one you believe?

  5. waxliberty

    Still predicting that ice age, Richard? :) I don't suppose you're taking any bets about it.

    Why do you think global energy content keep going up so dramatically despite the super low solar cycles we've been having? Do you ever stop to wonder about the physical world?

  6. TreeParty

    So the evidence from the data that YOU CITED is that the temperature of Greenland is the warmest now than it has been in at least 2000 years. That is obviously caused by the flaring of hundreds of millions of years of stored carbon in just over a century, causing GLOBAL (as opposed to local Greenland) temperatures to rise by 1 deg. C per century, a rate that is historically very rare. Other proxies for GLOBAL temperatures DO NOT show that the "Minoan Warm Period" was 1.5 deg. C. hotter than the present average temperature of the planet. So the current spike of >1 deg. C. GLOBALLY in a century is anomalous and dangerous.
    Can you find and post a temperature record for the last 4000 years that is not confined to Greenland?

  7. Richard A. Fletcher

    65 Million Years of Climate Change, .And where did you come up with this idea that the temperature of Greenland is the warmest now than it has been in at least 2000 years is obviously caused by flaring of hundreds of millions of years of stored carbon in just over a century? Who said it's obvious? and what carbon are you referring to, fossil fuels, CO2, what?

  8. TreeParty

    Let's take this answer in stages.
    Stage One: The graph of "Central Greenland Temperature" that you yourself linked shows that the temperature of Greenland has not been as high as it is now for just about 2000 years. That "the temperature of Greenland is the warmest now than it has been in at least 2000 years" is shown by the data that YOU LINKED! And we agree on that conclusion, because it is clearly and demonstrably true.
    Stage Two: The average global temperature of the ENTIRE PLANET has increased in the last century by over 1 Deg C. That would include Greenland, by definition; even though the general rise in the average temperature of the planet will not affect every locality by the same amount. Obviously.
    Stage Three: The consensus of scientists that spend every day studying climate change is that it is principally human activity (combustion of fossil fuels; deforestation; feedback effects of methane release, albedo loss, etc.) that is causing this global warming. Other possible mechanisms, and groups of mechanisms, have been considered, evaluated, and rejected, as the CHIEF driver of the measurable global warming. The increase in atmospheric CO2, that went from 280 PPM for the entire duration of the graph you linked on Powerline, to >400 PPM and rising, at present, is what the overwhelming consensus of climate scientists believe is causing the current global warming.
    Stage Four: It is the "flaring of hundreds of millions of year of stored carbon in just over a century" that has caused the atmospheric fraction of CO2 to rise from 280 PPM for the last 800,000 years, to the current value of >400 PPM in just over a century. I SAID IT'S OBVIOUS, and I have virtually the entire community of climate science to back me up on that.
    To recapitulate: There is no other scientifically defensible explanation for the observable rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet but AGW.

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