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Pages tagged "renewables"

Government must prepare coal communities for for energy transition

The International Energy Agency (IEA) overnight sounded the death knell for global coal demand and yet there is still no credible plan for diversifying regional economies of Lithgow and the Hunter. [1]

“The people of Lithgow and the Hunter region are being let down by political leaders who have failed to prepare for the inevitable changes facing their community,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said. 

“The International Energy Agency yesterday forecasted the steady decline in coal demand over the next 10 to 20 years. 

“It has warned coal-fired power will decline to less than 20 per cent of the world's energy by 2040, virtually spelling the end of the coal era.”

IEA chief Faith Birol said: Solar PV is now consistently cheaper than new coal- or gas-fired power plants in most countries, and solar projects now offer some of the lowest cost electricity ever seen. [2]

“There are huge opportunities beyond coal for the Hunter and Lithgow regions, but they will require investment by the government and business.

“These regions can’t reach its post-coal potential alone - it needs substantial support from the state and federal governments. That support is conspicuously lacking.

“Change in our energy systems is gathering pace so coal communities need government help to get on board or they will be left behind.

“Germany has created a 40 billion euro fund to help its coal communities develop new economic opportunities. 

“We need something similar to ensure our communities don’t suffer because of the rapid international shift away from coal.

“We call on the NSW government to set aside a substantial fund, with billions of dollars to ensure no worker is left high and dry and that coal mining regions will have sufficient resources to adapt economically.”


[1] International Energy Agency: coal has surrendered to solar, SMH, 14-10-20

[2] International Energy Agency Press Release, 13-10-20 

Media contact: James Tremain | 0419 272 254

Gas-giant Santos gets green light to desecrate the Pilliga forest

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW (NCC) says that the Independent Planning Commission’s (IPC) approval of Santos’ Narrabri gas project is a blow to nature in the state.

“Santos now has the green light to desecrate the Pilliga forest – turning it into an industrial gas field that will damage groundwater, carve up the forest and endanger koalas and other threatened species” said NCC Campaigns Director Dr Brad Smith.

“Never has a project in NSW seen such enormous public opposition at all levels – from the Gomeroi Traditional Custodians who fought to protect the enormous traditional significance of the Pilliga to the 404 people who appeared at a record 7 days of public hearings”

“The NSW Government has turned its back on traditional owners, farmers and local communities in North West NSW who are fighting to protect their water, land and livelihoods and stop this project wreaking havoc on our climate.

“Government and planning authorities must stop supporting gas projects that release millions of tonnes of potent climate pollution.”

“Existing coal and gas fields will push the world past globally agreed temperature goals. There is no room, or need, for more.”

“If the government wants to do something about gas, it should focus on electrification of Australian businesses and households with heat pumps for hot water, reverse-cycle air conditioning for space heating and induction cooktops.”

“Our economy can’t use dirty fuels any longer. Jobs and industries are already built on clean energy technology and NSW is getting left behind.” 

“We call on the government to commit to ensuring the IPC’s conditions aren’t swept under the rug, and Santos actually comes up with a salt management plan and a compliant groundwater model before construction commences.


Prime Minister Morrison abandons his own “technology neutral” principles to fuel fossil obsession

Responding to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s plans to spend $50m on gas supply and plan a gas power station in the Hunter Valley, Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said

“The Prime Minister has thrown his own “technology neutral” energy policy out the window, and is locking Australia into burning expensive, polluting gas.”

“This is not a climate safe plan, and Australians will pay a very high cost if the government doesn’t wake up and start choosing clean options. 

“Locking in more gas will just heat the planet, making bushfires and heatwaves worse.”

“We call on the Prime Minister to consider clean options for back-up power supply, like grid scale batteries and pumped hydro”

“The time for building new fossil fuel power plants is long past.

“After the bushfire summer from hell that we just lived through, it is clear we cannot afford to delay.

“We urge all companies and governments to lift their level of ambition so Australia has 100% clean energy by 2030.”