Prominent Aussies & NFPs Back No New Coal Mines
27 October 2015 at 9:22 am
More than 60 prominent Australians with the support of major environmental Not for Profits have signed an open letter backing the President of Kiribati’s call for a moratorium on new coal mines.
The letter, published in the Fairfax media, calls on French President, Francois Hollande and other world leaders to put coal exports on the agenda at the 2015 Paris COP21 climate summit.
Notable Australians backing the call for a moratorium on new coal mines represent diverse fields including medicine, science, Indigenous, multicultural, faith, arts and literature, politics, business and sports.
Signatories include former RBA governor Bernie Fraser, 2003 Australian of the Year Fiona Stanley AC, Nobel Laureates Professor Peter Doherty AC & J.M. Coetzee, Indigenous campaigner Amelia Telford, Robert Manne, Carmen Lawrence, Bishop George Browning, Adam Spencer, Richard Flanagan and David Pocock.
The letter was published with the support of GetUp!, Greenpeace, the Australian Conservation Foundation, Seed, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, 350.org, Doctors for the Environment Australia, Friends of the Earth, Market Forces, and the Wilderness Society.
“We, the undersigned, urge you to put coal exports on the agenda at the 2015 Paris COP21 climate summit and to help the world’s governments negotiate a global moratorium on new coal mines and coal mine expansions, as called for by President Anote Tong of the Republic of Kiribati, and Pacific Island nations,” the statement said.
Australia’s new Prime Minister has outlined his vision in recent weeks for a “21st Century government”, acknowledging that “the pace of change is remarkable”.
On 4 September 2015, at the Pacific Island Development Forum, the Suva Declaration called for, “A new global dialogue on the implementation of an international moratorium on the development and expansion of fossil fuel extracting industries, particularly the construction of new coal mines, as an urgent step towards decarbonising the global economy”.
Professor Stanley wrote a letter encouraging Australians to join the campaign, and said she was “anxious and angry about Australia’s response to the global threat of climate change, particularly the recent approval of Adani’s Carmichael coal mine”.
“This is a mine so large that we're all its coal burnt, the total emissions would dwarf the annual emissions of many entire nations. However, climate change is not just an urgent environmental issue; it is having a devastating effect on health,” Stanley said.
“What worries doctors and public health experts the most is the future health effects of global warming this century, should we not rapidly reduce emissions. Unchecked global warming would threaten the underlying foundations for children’s health – clean water, food supply, and social and economic stability.
“The fact that we are burning something that we know is incredibly damaging is seriously concerning.
“The children and grandchildren of the next generation, they’re the ones who are going to bear the brunt of this.”
Last week the Australia Institute published a report outlining the economic case for a moratorium on new coal mines.
“This is a powerful statement. Increasingly Australians and people from all over the world are realising the case for new coal mines fails environmentally as well as economically,” Executive Director of the Australia Institute, Ben Oquist, said.