Late on a Friday night, just a few of months ago, Australia’s federal natural environment minister quietly waved by means of a coalmine extension that will outlive most of us.
The Gregory Crinum coalmine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin now has a eco-friendly mild to work for another 50 years, right up until 2073. The more coal, when burnt, will incorporate about 31m tonnes of carbon dioxide to the environment as soon as it is burned. That equates to 6% of Australia’s annual emissions.
I’m not exaggerating when I say if we do not end this rampant approval of fossil gas jobs, by 2073 we’ll be residing via the big-scale destruction of ecosystems and will have breached various tipping factors, leading to the collapse of our food systems and hellish heat and fires.
This is just one particular of four key fossil fuel approvals which is been greenlit underneath the Albanese federal government. And it is a horrible illustration of just how broken Australia’s atmosphere legislation is. Like all the many others, this acceptance was granted less than the Surroundings Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC).
This regulation, astonishingly, fails to offer immediately with the main danger Australia’s setting now faces: local weather alter. There are at the very least 21 a lot more fossil gasoline initiatives at the moment in the EPBC approval pipeline, and dozens more proposals that have been announced, but not nonetheless lodged for evaluation.
The Albanese government promised right before the last election that it would fortify our national ecosystem legislation. But it is now languishing on its to-do checklist.
Australia, our impressive place, with its lush rainforests, vivid coral reefs and awe-inspiring landscapes, is also the world’s first country to get rid of a species to the weather crisis.
The Bramble Cay melomys, a cute mouse-like creature native to an island in the Great Barrier Reef, was officially declared extinct in 2019. Its destiny stands as a stark reminder: every single day is Threatened Species Working day right until we halt burning fossil fuels.
Regrettably, it will not be the final species we drop to weather transform. Why? Due to the fact the EPBC has a obtrusive blind place when it will come to local weather alter. It represents a whole failure to shield the necessities of our Australian way of life that sustain us all: clear air, water, wildlife and ecosystems.
We urgently need to have a strong law that safeguards not only our purely natural miracles but our wellbeing and overall economy too. A regulation that states a resounding “yes” to responsible, clear electricity and industry initiatives and an unambiguous “no” to ventures that exacerbate the weather disaster.
The Atmosphere Council of Central Queensland is gearing up for a battle to set this precedent, hard the government’s reckless coal mining decisions in courtroom.
The selections this team are fighting to overturn incorporate the MACH Energy’s Mount Enjoyable Optimisation Task, a thermal coalmine growth, and Whitehaven’s Underground Mine Stage 3 Extension Challenge, a different expanded thermal coalmine in Narrabri, which will – between them – develop near to 1.5bn tonnes of CO2e, virtually triple all of Australia’s annual emissions last year.
Blaming the rubber stamping of these earth-killing shockers on a clunky outdated legislation just is not good sufficient. Just declaring one’s arms are tied because this undertaking is compliant with the legislation whilst glossing around the electrical power one has to alter that extremely legislation – currently – is not management.
Let’s get authentic: our countrywide surroundings law is a relic from the Howard-era. It’s now additional than 23 several years outdated. We now know a huge amount a lot more about the dire implications of local climate transform on species and ecosystems than we did in 1999.
Certainly we’re now dwelling by means of the age of weather repercussions and the nervousness of what an extremely challenging El Niño could deliver. With each coal and gasoline venture authorised, we’re not just getting rid of species. We’re dropping our Australian id and the normal legacy we owe our little ones.
The contact to action is very clear and urgent. There is completely no area for new and expanded fossil gasoline initiatives. The Albanese governing administration now has a very important option to present management and improve our nationwide setting regulation to be certain each and each individual venture is assessed for its weather impacts.
If we do not get this correct, we’re not just building every single day Threatened Species Working day, we’re headed toward a harmful, unfortunate, potential, with damage and destruction that are not able to be unwound. There are no second prospects or just take backs, it is now or never ever.