Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Coal industry urges fair emissions scheme

By Paul Robinson

ABC News Online, Tue Jul 28, 2009 


The coal industry has taken out full page newspaper advertisements today calling for fair and consistent treatment in the development of an emissions trading scheme.

The Australian Coal Association says the Government's new Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute shows Australia is a world leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from coal.

The association says the industry has committed more than $1 billion of its own money developing carbon storage projects in three states.

But the advertisement says an emissions trading scheme needs to take into account the actions of other countries so that jobs are not transferred offshore.

The Coal Association's executive director Ralph Hillman says coal companies will have to buy emissions licences, something that will not apply to other coal exporting countries, while other Australian industries will get concessions.

"60 per-cent of your permits would be handed to you by the government and liquefied natural gas is going to benefit from that, aluminium and cement, chemicals, but coal, even though it qualified easily under the government's own tests and criteria was excluded for political reasons," he said.

"The important thing is just not to move jobs offshore such as coal jobs to our competitor countries who are not going to impose these restrictions so you will lose good jobs in Central Queensland.

"There'll be more jobs in Indonesia or South Africa or Colombia who are our competitors, but they will just produce the coal and emit the gas anyway so the global will be no better off."

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