A NSW planning commission tasked with assessing large fossil fuel projects has been found to have ‘comprehensively failed’ in mitigating greenhouse emissions, according to a report published by Griffith University Emeritus Professor Ian Lowe.
Professor Lowe writes that, based on the most generous overall assessment, The Independent Planning Commission (IPC) ‘has only implemented conditions that could lead to the abatement of 7.7 million tonnes out of a total of 1,387 million tonnes of all greenhouse emissions from the eight projects’.
Consideration of conditions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions is a requirement of all IPC decisions about coal mining and coal seam gas projects in NSW.
However, Professor Lowe’s report shows the IPC has recommended a ‘hodgepodge of vague, mostly unenforceable, conditions that have done little or nothing to abate operational emissions despite measures being available to prevent them’.
Professor Lowe said, ‘This report reveals the NSW Government is comprehensively failing to tackle direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions in the mining sector’.
He described the inaction as ‘utterly irresponsible…to do next to nothing to mitigate almost 90 million tonnes of operational emissions produced locally from these new mining projects’.
Lock the Gate Alliance NSW spokesperson, Nic Clyde, said, ‘The people of NSW should not be left bearing all the costs of climate change in the form of devastating bushfires, droughts and heatwaves, while the mining industry pollutes and profits with abandon’.
He added the cosy relationship between coal companies and the NSW Government results in government pretends in meaningless conditions of consent.
Read Professor Lowe’s full report, Emissions from recently approved fossil fuel projects in NSW.