Australia closes coal mine to protect Great Barrier Reef

Australia closes coal mine to protect Great Barrier Reef

The open pit mine would have been positioned simply 10 km from the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland

For the primary time in historical past, Australia has halted coal mine building by environmental legal guidelines.

The federal government on Thursday rejected a proposal for a brand new mine about 10 km (6.2 miles) off the Great Barrier Reef.

Atmosphere Minister Tanya Plibersek mentioned the venture posed an unacceptable danger to an already extremely endangered World Heritage space.

The mine’s proprietor, controversial Australian billionaire Clive Palmer, has but to reply to the denial.

His firm, Central Queensland Coal, proposed constructing an opencast mine about 700 km north-west of Brisbane that might produce each thermal and coking coal and function for about 20 years.

Ms Plibersek hinted final 12 months that the federal authorities may block the mine. After it was launched to the general public, her division obtained greater than 9,000 submissions in 10 days—a majority demanding a halt to the venture.

The Great Barrier Reef – the world’s largest coral reef system – has suffered 4 mass bleaching occasions prior to now six years due to rising ocean temperatures and its outlook is “very poor”, officers say.

The Queensland state authorities final 12 months additionally really useful that its federal counterpart reject the proposal, saying the environmental dangers had been “significant”.

Minister Plibersek’s division agreed that the extraction of sediment and runoff from the open pit would injury the rock and native water sources.

“I have come to the conclusion that the negative impact on the environment is very high,” the minister mentioned in a video assertion on Wednesday.

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Whereas state governments have already rejected proposals, that is the primary time a federal surroundings minister has used his powers to accomplish that.

Australia’s Labor authorities, elected in Might, is below stress from some quarters to halt future coal and fuel exploration tasks.

Environmentalists such because the Inexperienced Get together say the nation can not assist stop catastrophic local weather change – or restrict international warming to under 1.5°C this century – if it permits new mines.

Australia is a significant international provider of fossil fuels. In case you add exports, the nation produces 3.6% of the world’s emissions, however solely 0.3% of the world’s inhabitants.

Whereas the brand new authorities has considerably elevated Australia’s emissions discount goal for 2030, it has additionally introduced it’s going to approve any new fossil gasoline tasks that make financial sense.


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