Friends of the Earth vows to blockade coal exports

coal_image.jpgMedia Alert – Friends of the Earth

16th June 2014

Friends of the Earth today condemned the state and federal governments’ decision to subsidise Shanghai Electric’s plan to establish a brown coal export industry in Victoria. The Chinese government-owned company was awarded $25 million for a $119 million demonstration plant to process coal into briquettes.

Shaun Murray, Spokesperson on Coal for Friends of the Earth:

“Brown coal is one of the most emissions-intensive fossil fuel energy sources. At a time when the scientific community is urging rich countries like Australia to lead the way with deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, it is perverse that we would be throwing public money into attempting to establish a brown coal export industry. Australia risks becoming an impediment to the international effort. ”

“Conservative institutions like the International Energy Agency and the World Bank are saying that in order to avoid dangerous global warming, we need to leave 70-80% of fossil fuel reserves in the ground.”

“Australia is already experiencing extreme bushfires and weather events exacerbated by global warming, and the Premier and Prime Minister demonstrate their willful ignorance of this issue by propping up new greenhouse gas-intensive industries.”

“If Premier Napthine thinks that we will stand by and watch farmland dug up and coal trains rumbling through the suburbs of Melbourne, he is mistaken. Friends of the Earth vows to oppose new brown coal mines and exports every step of the way. We will stand side-by-side with farmers in the Latrobe Valley to fight the establishment of new coal mines and rural communities who are opposing coal infrastructure. We will blockade coal trains if necessary to stop this dangerous and unnecessary industry from proceeding.”

COMMENT:

Shaun Murray, Spokesperson on Coal, Friends of the Earth Australia: 0402 337077