A PLAN TO END COAL AND GAS BY 2030 AND STOP POURING FUEL ON THE CLIMATE CRISIS
Mining and burning coal and gas is the leading cause of the climate crisis. Coal and gas are causing more extreme floods, fires and droughts in NSW. The growing climate crisis threatens our safety and health, our food and water and even the air we breathe.
If we continue to mine and burn coal, oil and gas, we’ll face more frequent and extreme megafires, heatwaves, floods, droughts, coastal inundation and other catastrophic events. We’ll also feel increasing economic stress, such as paying more for food, petrol, insurance, health services and energy bills.
New South Wales is a leading contributor to the climate crisis. As the 4th largest exporter of coal globally, NSW has a key role to play in tackling the climate crisis by phasing out fossil fuels and reducing global emissions.
But Labor and the Liberal-Nationals are addicted to fossil fuel. Since the Paris Climate Agreement, this Government has approved 26 new coal and gas projects which will be responsible for 4.4 billion tonnes of CO2, while another 8 coal projects are in the NSW planning system. Just these 8 projects alone, if approved, will produce a further 1.5 billion tonnes in carbon emissions globally.
Neither Labor nor the Liberal-National parties will stand in the way of these climate-wrecking projects.
Only the Greens have a plan to end coal and gas in NSW and help avert climate catastrophe.
The Greens will:
- Stop the Santos Narrabri Gas Project and Hunter Gas Pipeline.
- Place a moratorium on all new coal and gas projects.
- Immediately end all government fossil fuel subsidies and support.
- Set a closure date of 2030 for all thermal coal mines in NSW and empower the EPA to set a ‘carbon budget’ for these mines for each year until they close.
- Phase out all Coal & Gas and transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030.
- Support households to get off gas and improve energy efficiency in their homes.
- Protect Sydney's water catchment from mining.
- Shut down coal-fired power stations by 2030 and transition workers to new sustainable industries.
STOP SANTOS’ NARRABRI COAL SEAM GAS PROJECT
Santos is set to build over 850 coal seam gas wells over 95 000 hectares across the Gunnedah Basin, including the Pilliga forest. This is Gomeroi Country and home to more than 300 native animals, many of them threatened with extinction. This massive coal seam gas project will wipe out the Pilliga forest and risk polluting the Great Artesian Basin which hundreds of communities across the country rely upon.
Santos’ Narrabri gas project will release 127 million tonnes of CO2 over 25 years, creating a carbon bomb and undermining the NSW Government's stated climate targets.
Approving this project in the midst of a climate crisis is a crime against future generations.
With almost 23,000 submissions opposing this massive CSG project, Santos has no social licence to continue. The government can and must step in to buy Santos out and protect this prime agricultural land, precious water system and endangered forest for future generations.
The Government has previously bought back exploration licences to stop Metgasco’s CSG project in the Northern Rivers and bought back Shenhua’s coal mining licence to protect the Liverpool Plains. Now it needs to do the same to protect the Pilliga and prevent a climate disaster.
- Withdraw all support for the Narrabri CSG project and refuse to provide a production licence.
- Negotiate with Santos to end the Narrabri CSG project and cancel all existing exploration licences in the Gunnedah basin.
HUNTER GAS PIPELINE
The Government is also supporting the construction of the Hunter Gas Pipeline from Wallumbilla in Queensland to Narrabri in the Gunnedah Basin all the way to Newcastle.This pipeline will extend for more than 830 kilometres, carving its way through some of the most fertile agricultural land in NSW. Many farming communities are fighting back and locking their gates to Santos to protect their land and water for future generations. The Greens stand with these communities.
The pipeline is also planned to be constructed through critical wildlife and koala corridors, destroying habitat including countless old trees with hollows that house gliders, parrots, owls and other animals.
The Greens will work with the next government to:
- Withdraw Critical State Significant Infrastructure designation for the Hunter gas pipeline and cancel this project.
NO NEW COAL OR GAS
NSW has signed the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to within 1.5 degrees. Yet despite this, NSW remains the 4th largest coal exporter in the world and continues to approve new coal and gas projects that are fueling the global climate crisis.
Eight new coal projects are due to be considered in NSW this year alone. These would add at least 1.5 billion tonnes to global greenhouse gas emissions if approved.
This is the largest proposed expansion of coal mining in the state since the Paris Agreement.
NSW is literally adding fuel to the fire of the climate crisis.
Averting the climate crisis means we must keep coal and gas in the ground.
Santos and the other gas giants are spinning lies to governments that we need more gas. Yet more than 70% of the gas produced along Australia’s east coast is exported, while domestic consumption of gas is in decline. With incentives to households to move away from gas this decline will only continue.
The only thing the gas company bullies are interested in is lining their own pockets.
The Greens will act to keep coal and gas in the ground and avert the climate crisis by:
- Placing an immediate moratorium on all new coal or gas projects.
- Ending all subsidies and tax breaks for fossil fuel projects.
PHASE OUT COAL AND GAS BY 2030
It’s not enough to just stop new coal and gas. We need a plan to phase out coal and gas extraction and generation in NSW.
The International Energy Agency and the United Nations have both said that no new coal or gas can be developed if we are to meet our target of net zero by 2050. Even this target, according to many scientists, risks the planet warming to extreme levels. That’s why the Greens have a target of net zero by 2035.
Any transition out of coal and gas must look after workers in these dying industries. That’s why our federal plan for a Job for Job Guarantee will ensure coal workers’ wages will be guaranteed for 10 years in new jobs, with their new employer receiving a wage subsidy.
NSW has 39 operating coal mines with around 85% of their production being thermal coal, making up two thirds of Australia’s total thermal coal production. As the 4th largest exporter of coal in the world, NSW has a responsibility to shut down its thermal coal mining operations by 2030 to try and keep global warming to within 1.5 degrees.
The Greens plan would give the Planning Minister powers to set a closure date of 2030 at the latest for all thermal coal mines in NSW. The Minister would do this by empowering the Environmental Protection Agency to allocate each coal mine a “carbon budget” that restricts the amount of coal they can produce each year.
The Planning Minister would also be empowered to review any existing development consent for a coal mine to reduce its production licence.
We will also increase levies on coal and gas extraction royalties – raising around $8bn extra each year – and stop handing wealthy coal companies millions of taxpayer dollars in annual subsidies.
The Greens will:
- Increase levies on coal and gas extraction royalties raising around $8bn extra each year.
- Set a closing date of 2030 for all thermal coal mines in operation in NSW, allocating each operating mine a ‘carbon budget’ that reduces the amount of polluting coal they can produce each year.
- Create a power for the Planning Minister to review any existing development consent for a coal mine to reduce its production licence.
COAL MINING IN SYDNEY'S WATER CATCHMENT
Sydney regularly faces record-breaking droughts that will only get worse with climate change. Despite this Sydney is the only place in the world that allows longwall mining underneath publicly owned water catchments.
Longwall mining damages reservoirs. It causes cracks in rock beds that lead to water flowing into mines and an increased presence of heavy metals such as iron, zinc and nickel – mining companies know this but they continue to mine underneath the catchment anyway.
In the last term of Parliament, the Liberal National Government approved the expansion of longwall coal mining underneath the Greater Sydney water catchments, putting Sydney’s water security even more at risk.
The Greens will protect Greater Sydney’s water catchments by:
- Prohibiting the expansion of coal mining activities underneath Sydney’s water catchments.
- Phase out all coal mining underneath Sydney’s water catchment by 2030 and transition to green steel for the Illawarra.
PHASE OUT HOUSEHOLD GAS
Gas is a fossil fuel, and one of the leading causes of the climate crisis. Burning gas isn’t just contributing to the climate crisis, it’s also expensive, polluting and unhealthy. Research shows using gas in our homes causes up to 12% of childhood asthma. We need to get it out of our homes.
There are currently around 1.5 million homes in NSW using gas, or with a gas connection, and another 35,000 being added each year. While we will continue to see some industries needing to continue to use gas over the short term, the technology is available to get fossil fuels out of our homes right now.
The Greens have a plan to get 1 million homes off gas over the next six years, with Get Off Gas rebates and zero-interest loans available to all households.
The wholesale price of gas has tripled in the last year. Making the switch from gas to electric will immediately benefit households by delivering cost of living relief from energy bills and price shocks. Households in Sydney that switch to fully electric can save up to $924 on their annual bills.
For households with solar panels, switching to electric heaters, cooking appliances and hot water systems, could save a further $800 on bills every year.
The Greens will will:
- Help households replace gas cooking and heating with electricity. Get Off Gas rebates of up to $3000 and zero-interest loans of up to $3000 to help households replace old and polluting gas cooking, heating and hot water appliances with energy-efficient electric ones.
- Ban new residential gas connections from 1 July 2024.
- Require solar panels and efficiency upgrades on all social/community housing. Retrofit existing social housing stock to comply with the National Construction Code (NCC) and BASIX requirements for thermal comfort and energy efficiency.
- Establish a rooftop solar panel grants and loans scheme. Maintain the rebate swap for solar offer, and provide zero-interest loans to install solar on properties below $1.5m.
- Require solar panels on all new builds. The Greens will ensure that all new commercial residential and government buildings include solar panels.
- Electrify everything, suburb by suburb. $50 million dollars to immediately fund electrification pilot programs, including $20 million dollars for ‘Electrify 2515’, with a plan to roll out full statewide electrification.