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Let the Hume Coal decision mark the end of new coal projects in NSW

Climate change is a conspicuous omission in the list of reasons the NSW Independent Planning Commission has given for rejecting the proposed Hume Coal mine today. [1] 

“The IPC’s decision is correct and welcome, but it is disappointing that the climate impacts were not mentioned given the International Panel on Climate Change issued its most sobering report to date just weeks ago,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian. 

“Yes, the water impacts of this ill-conceived project were extremely risky. And yes, the mine should have been rejected for these reasons alone.  

“But the fact the IPC barely touched on climate highlights the deficiencies of the planning system in coming to grips with the greatest environmental hazard we face. 

“I wish today’s decision marked the end of new fossil fuel proposals in NSW, but companies with more fossil fuel proposals are queuing out the door of the Planning Department. 

“Just a few weeks ago, Centennial Coal announced plans to open a new mine at Angus Place near Lithgow. 

“We cannot afford to let the fossil fuel industry open any new mines or gas fields if we are to have a hope of keeping global temperature rises to within safe levels. 

“But no new mines should be approved in NSW. The urgent need to reduce carbon emissions across the planet says that we simply can’t afford fresh fossil fuel projects.”  

References 

[1] Hume Coal impacts ‘too great to be reasonably managed’, IPC finds, IPC, 31-8-21  

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