Thursday, November 27, 2008

Coal industry 'costs environment, society $717b each year'

ABC News Online, Posted 8 hours 25 minutes ago 

Updated 5 hours 36 minutes ago

Costly: A new Greenpeace report has put a price tag on coal's environmental impact (ABC News: Craig Heerey)

A report commissioned by Greenpeace has found the coal industry contributes more than $700 billion damage to the environment and society every year.

The research, by a Dutch environmental consultancy, calculates the cost of dealing with natural disasters caused by climate change.

It also looks at the health problems caused by air pollution such as respiratory diseases.

Greenpeace spokesman Julien Vincent says Australia is a major contributor.

"Australia is the number one exporter of coal around the world, so we're actually playing a key role in peddling this substance, this number one climate polluter around the planet, and we've got plans to mine and export more coal," he said.

The research found that over the next 10 years the coal industry will have caused damages in excess of $7 trillion.

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