Make sure NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes says “NO” to Wollongong Coal’s ‘do-nothing’ climate plan

Telephone the Minister on (02) 8574 6707 or write to him via his contact web form at: https://www.nsw.gov.au/nsw-government/ministers/minister-for-planning-and-public-spaces

POWA at HONK! festival, Wollongong, January 2020

Wollongong Coal Ltd is preparing a plan for management of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGEs) from Russell Vale Colliery. GHGEs will be produced as a result of diesel fuel use and electricity consumption on site. And as this is a ‘gassy’ mine, a lot of methane and carbon dioxide will be released. And then of course there’s the carbon pollution that occurs when the coal is transported and burnt.

Although it has a relatively small coal output, Russell Vale Mine is among the top 100 Scope 1 greenhouse gas emitters in Australia.

But the draft GHG management plan reveals WCL does not want to commit to any action to reduce any of these emissions.

The carefully worded draft plan says WCL will “consider” efficiency if they purchase new equipment, “review renewable energy opportunities”, “track… electricity bills” and similar actions, the outcomes of which are neither measurable nor enforceable.

There are no plans at all to minimise, avoid or mitigate any of the fugitive emissions from this expansion. Fugitive emissions comprise 99.6% of all Scope 1 emissions for this development. The 1,412,900 tonnes of fugitive GHG emissions are equivalent to the annual GHG footprint of more than 67,000 Australians.

At this time, we need to rapidly reduce GHG emissions. The NSW government must not let expanding coal mines off the hook.

Will you write to the NSW Minister for Planning, Rob Stokes and ask him to ensure that WCL will be required to implement real concrete, transparent and measurable GHG mitigation at Russell Vale mine?

“Any single source of greenhouse gas emissions is a small fraction of the total, yet the cumulative, shared problem of climate change is enormous and quite possibly existential.”(1)

The NSW government doesn’t require coal miners to take responsibility for the Scope 3 emissions released in the burning of the coal they’ve mined (86.3% of GHG emissions from this mine). At the very least, Minister Stokes should require concrete, measurable reductions of Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from the Russell Vale Mine expansion. And the Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions which cannot be reduced should be 100% offset by Wollongong Coal.

Please phone or write to the NSW Minister for Planning now and ask him to reject Wollongong Coal’s ‘do-nothing’ draft GHG plan and instead, to ensure real, measurable and enforceable reductions from the Russell Vale Mine expansion.

Your message can be as long or short as you like and should:

(1) refer to Draft Russell Vale Colliery Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Management Plan;

(2) demand actions that are concrete, transparent and measurable to reduce the project’s GHG emissions, including fugitive emissions;

(3) demand that emissions be offset if technology is not available for mitigation emissions; and

(4) request a response to your communication.

Telephone the Minister on (02) 8574 6707 or write to him via his contact web form at: https://www.nsw.gov.au/nsw-government/ministers/minister-for-planning-and-public-spaces

(1) Expert Report on the Greenhouse Gas and Climate Implications of the Narrabri Gas Project (SSD-6456), Professor Penny D Sackett, Honorary Professor, Climate Change Institute, The Australian National University, Advice Provided to IPC NSW re Narrabri Gas Project: 9 August 2020, pg 3

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