The widening gulf between ‘fundraising stunts’ and ‘the plain hard work’ needed to address global climate and energy demand was in evidence at either end of the country, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said.
“In Canberra, Federal Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson announced a National Low Emissions Coal Council and National Carbon Storage Taskforce while near Mackay, Greenpeace fundraisers painted signs on ships,” Roche said.
“With graffiti the best that Greenpeace can contribute to this issue, it’s important for Queenslanders to know that leading environmental organisations such as WWF-Australia and the Climate Institute have been working with the coal industry to develop the initiatives announced today by Minister Ferguson.”
The National Low Emissions Coal Council will direct a national program of research and development and a program of low-emission power technology demonstration projects supporting deployment at commercial scale. Recognising the need to have Australia ready for secure, large-scale storage of carbon dioxide by 2015, the taskforce’s focus is mapping storage areas and developing an infrastructure plan to link storage sites to emissions sources including power stations owned by Queensland taxpayers.
“In the midst of a debate over global warming, Greenpeace is out in the cold as scientists and leading environmental organisations join forces in the knowledge that the developing world’s transition from poverty to prosperity isn’t going to be derailed by slogans or publicity stunts,” Roche said.
Roche said that it was ironic that protests in north Queensland against coal and shale oil were being directed from Greenpeace’s steel-hulled, diesel-powered ship.
“What’s also important for Queenslanders to understand and what’s never acknowledged by Greenpeace fundraisers is that more than 60% of the coal exported from Queensland is used in steelmaking, and for that purpose, there is simply no viable substitute for this coking coal.
“Australia’s black coal industry was the first in the world to acknowledge the necessity to reduce the carbon emissions from coal’s combustion for electricity generation and that’s why it has committed $1 billion over 10 years for demonstration of the low emissions power technology needed by energy-hungry developing countries.”
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