Coal and Gas

Principles

The Greens NSW believe:

1. Mining and burning coal and fossil gas is fuelling the climate crisis. The climate crisis threatens Australia and Australian society. It is imperative to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees.

2. NSW must rapidly end all coal and gas mining and energy generation from fossil fuels.  

3. NSW as a major coal exporter has a significant and particular global climate responsibility to assist in global greenhouse gas emissions reduction and must end coal exports. A coal export profit driven motive is unconscionable in the face of increased global warming.  

4. NSW must be powered by 100% renewable electricity by 2030.  

5. NSW must reach 75% emissions reduction on 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2035.

6. Ending coal and gas mining and non-renewable electricity generation as a matter of urgent priority presents NSW with opportunities to transition to a jobs-rich, clean energy state economy.

7. The just transition of coal workers and coal dependent communities must commence immediately. The social, environmental and economic transition requirements and obligations of fossil fuel companies must be commensurate to the need, and provided in their closure plans as a matter of priority.  

8. All taxpayer-funded spending to fossil fuel companies must end as a matter of priority. Including any funding to enable or accelerate exploration, construction of gas pipelines, power stations, coal mines and fossil-fuel derived hydrogen. No funding should be provided to or by government-owned bodies to build fossil fuel infrastructure.  

9. The rehabilitation of all mine land is a priority and should be undertaken with the primary goals of carbon drawdown and biodiversity conservation.  

10. During the transition to a low-carbon emissions economy, the nation's energy and metallurgical needs must be satisfied by existing coal mines and gas fields. No additional fossil gas, (particularly coal seam gas, tight sands gas and other unconventional forms of gas) is required to transition to or complement electricity from renewable sources.  

11. Additional profits taxes should be introduced and used to cover the costs of the transition to clean energy.

Aims

The Greens NSW will work towards:

12. Cancelling all coal and gas exploration licences and refusing consent for any expansion of NSW's coal or gas mining capacity or infrastructure, including export and import infrastructure.

13. NSW being powered by 100% renewable electricity by 2030.  

14. NSW reaching 75% emissions reduction on 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2035.

15. The establishment of a NSW Coal and Gas Commissioner to ensure the orderly closure of thermal coal and gas mines by 2035 and metallurgical coal mines by 2040.

16. The full support of local communities and their economies in their transition through the establishment of new regional authorities made up of unions, business, academia, NGOs, First Nations and government to develop local tailored transition plans.

17. Ensuring the transition out of coal and gas to 100% renewables is driven by the following principles:

    17.1.  Early preparation

    17.2.  First Nations leadership, knowledge and input

    17.3.  Strong community leadership and participation

    17.4.  Consistent and clear policy support from governments

    17.5.  Allocation of substantial public finances

    17.6.  Worker retraining and re-employment

    17.7.  Detailed economic diversification plans

18. Supporting research and adoption of alternative technologies that can replace metallurgical coal, to allow NSW to become a leader in green steel production.

19. Achieving world's best practices in industrial relations for mineworkers, work health and mine safety, environmental and amenity protection during the rapid orderly closure and rehabilitation of coal and gas mines, including through:

    19.1.  increased enforcement of current environmental standards and requirements and higher penalties for breaches of mine consent requirements.

    19.2.  the establishing of local environmental monitoring committees to monitor and audit the performance of all coal mines.

    19.3.  the development of regional industry-wide environmental monitoring programs,

    19.4.  the development and implementation of a program for revegetation of disused coal mining land with indigenous species. Reforestation components of such activities should not be allowed to be used as a carbon dioxide sink in any emissions trading scheme,

    19.5.  improved monitoring of the environmental consequences of abandoned mine sites and in particular their impact on the aquatic environment,

    19.6.  the immediate and comprehensive environmental rehabilitation of abandoned coal mine sites and existing mines as they close, wherever possible avoiding final voids. The lease obligations to rehabilitate in current mining leases should be reviewed and amended to ensure that full restoration and reparation is the responsibility of the company and is undertaken as quickly as possible.

20. Removing all subsidies to coal and gas mining, while supporting a just transition to jobs in local sustainable industries for workers.  

21. Reject carbon capture and storage and other so-called ‘clean coal’ technologies and any government funding of these systems, on the basis they are unproven, energy intensive, environmentally risky, and inferior to a transition to renewable energy.

22. Levying existing coal and gas mines to pay for:  

    22.1.  just transitions, job creation and the development of a secure economic future for communities that are currently economically dependent on coal or gas mining,

    22.2.  environmental rehabilitation of abandoned mine sites,

    22.3.  investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency.  

23. Mandatory monitoring conducted by government-selected independent assessors, including base-line testing of ground and surface water, and methane emissions.

24. Support full public and accessible disclosure of all details of the fossil fuel industry, including:

    24.1.  the companies involved and their ownership, profits, royalties and political donations,

    24.2.  data from all environmental monitoring of water and air ecosystems,

    24.3.  requirements and conditions that mines are must satisfy in relation to environmental offsets, noise limits and dust levels; and reports by inspectors enforcing these conditions,

    24.4.  a triple bottom-line summary of coal mining: financial, social, and environmental, showing profits and losses in each category.