A report from the Australian Conservation Foundation shows that the mining industry is largely to be blamed for the country’s pollution levels. Through their research informed by the Clean Energy Regulator’s research, the ACF has identified 10 companies that are directly responsible for one third of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Mining industry companies indentified as biggest polluters
According to the ACF report, the worst offender in the mining industry group is Energy Australia. This entity is responsible for the Yallourn coal-fired power station in Victoria. Spewing approximately 20.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent gases, this mega company can rightly be regarded as Australia’s number one offender.
Coming in at second, third and fourth place in the biggest polluters line up from mining industry were Macquarie Generation, AGL Energy and Rio Tinto respectively.
“They are energy and mining companies, many of which rely on outdated and polluting technologies to build profits for their companies at the expense of the climate we all share,” says Geoff Cousins, ACF president as quoted in the report.
“While most of the top 10 polluters publicly accept climate change and their responsibilities to reduce pollution, some have opposed important mechanisms such as the carbon price and the Renewable Energy Target,” Cousins adds.
ACF President also lays blame with Federal Government for increasing pollution
The ACF president also places the responsibility on the shoulders of the Federal Government because of its negative stance against climate change.
“The Federal Government ditched a carbon price that was working, is undermining the Renewable Energy Target and is maintaining a pathetic international target to cut pollution by just 5% on 2000 levels in 2020,” he explains.
“Sadly, the Federal Government appears to be listening to the biggest polluters over the Australian people,” Cousins lamented.
With the recent report, ACF hopes that the big polluters of the mining industry will be put under the microscope and positively influence the course of debate regarding energy production.
ESAA calls for a bipartisan approach to energy and climate policy
The Energy Supply Association of Australia recently released this statement: “Emissions from electricity generation have fallen in the past three years, but to reduce emissions further we must regain a bipartisan approach to energy and climate policy to restore the bankability of the sector and allow investment in new generation.”
According to ESAA, “a survey of major banks and other investors late last year confirmed that there is an unwillingness to support new generation projects because of chronic oversupply, weak wholesale prices and policy instability”.
The ACF report also contrasted the companies’ massive greenhouse gas footprints with the statements they have made regarding climate change. A lot of these mining industry companies claim they are worried about Australia greenhouse gas pollution and climate change, however, their actions show that they are not worried enough to stop being the major polluters of the country.