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Coal Action Network slams lignite plans

Coal Action Network slams lignite plans

Press release: Coal Action Network
Tuesday 25th January
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Coal Action Network has condemned Solid Energy's announcement that its Southland lignite exploitation plans are going ahead. The state owned mining company's announcement of a preferred site for its pilot briquette plant(1) comes just weeks after the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment released her report Lignite and climate change - The high cost of low grade coal(2).

'It's not even two months since the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment released her report - Lignite and climate change - saying any use of lignite would be a bad choice for New Zealand, yet yesterday, Solid Energy announced concrete plans to proceed with this project,' said Coal Action Network spokesperson Frances Mountier.

'These 'think big' style lignite projects are for the benefit of a number of huge local and foreign companies, not for the rest of us,' Ms Mountier said. 'They are certainly not for the benefit of the generations to come who will face catastrophic climate change. They are not for the benefit of our Pacific neighbours who are already losing their homelands due to sea-level rise. They are not for the benefit of the local communities who will face water contamination, dust and other problems, along with a large increase in the number of trucks on their roads.

'At a time when we should be doing everything we can to reduce carbon emissions, this state owned enterprise is rushing headlong into massive coal extraction. The Parliamentary Commissioner warned that these projects would greatly increase New Zealand's emissions and she called not just for a re-think, but for the projects to be shelved,’ said Ms Mountier. 'It sounds as though neither the Government nor Solid Energy were paying attention.'

ENDS

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