Environmental Economics: Queenslands Coal Mines- Real Cost of Pollution
It is proposed to have six open-cut pits as well as five underground mines, with a disturbance area more than 30km long. The company initially obtained approval to remove 60m tonnes of coal each year, but has scaled back its ambition to an initial production rate of 25m tonnes a year.
While efforts to date have been substantial, the significance of the Great Barrier Reef’s contribution to the Australian economy, to Australian jobs and its remarkable asset value strongly indicates the Reef should be given even greater priority by all citizens, businesses and levels of government. Beyond the significant value added to the economy, the employment supported by the GBR is more than many of Australia's corporates including the likes of Qantas and Deloitte Australia. Considering this, the Reef is crucial to supporting economic activity and jobs in Australia – especially in Queensland with over half of the jobs coming from the GBR’s home state.
Absent a sustained, high price on carbon emissions and further technological innovation (for example, commercialising the use of zero emissions renewable energy or gas generated hydrogen as a substitute for coking coal), current alternatives to coking coal in the manufacturing of new steel have not been widely adopted, and while this will change, it is not posing the same immediate disruption as wind, solar and storage is posing to thermal coal (Siemens, 2018).
In this paper we have presented management and assessment approaches that seek to address the cumulative impacts of coal mining on regional communities and environments.
Siemens, “Australia’s First Hydrogen Demonstration Park with Siemens Technology to be Built in Adelaide”, Press Release, 21 February 2018.
Alstom, “Alstom’s hydrogen fuel cell train wins 2018 GreenTec Mobility Award”, Press Release, 4 May 2018
IGCC, “Briefing Paper on the 2018 Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change”, December 2018