Coal miners to have their say

Union representatives will give the Australian coal industry a voice at a climate change forum in Copenhagen next week.

Australian coal miners will be represented at the upcoming international climate change talks Copenhagen when union members speak at the ‘Climate Change and the World of Work’ forum, which will be running alongside the United Nations talks on climate change.

Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) general president Tony Maher will address the forum, which is being called the largest gathering of international trade unions committed to action on reducing carbon emissions, on Monday 14 December.

“Australian coal communities recognise the cost of inaction on climate change is far greater than the cost of action on climate change,” he said.

The CFMEU represents more than 20,000 Australian coal workers.

Maher said that along with international unions, the CFMEU would use the time in Copenhagen to push for greater investment from both governments and business in carbon capture and storage.

“Coalmine workers in Australia and around the world want our leaders to ensure the long-term future of coal communities by taking strong action in tackling climate change,” he said.

Australian coal has been very critical of the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, saying it will fundamentally damage the industry by imposing what is essentially a carbon tax, which will in turn result in thousands of job losses for little to no environmental gain.

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