Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Greens question coal mine's environmental claims

Greens question coal mine's environmental claims

The Green Party has complained about what it believes is misleading advertising and a failure to warn investors of the financial risks in a private South Island coal mine.

"We believe Pike River Coal Company should warn potential investors that they are likely to be liable for a multi-million dollar bill for greenhouse gas emissions released during the mining process," Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"The Government has made it clear that it plans to introduce an across the board carbon price and this means Ma and Pa investors face additional financial risk. However, nowhere in Pike River's advertising for its current share offer, which closes on July 10, does it disclose this. In fact the advertising pamphlet describes the operation as having 'low environmental impact'.

"Pike River Coal plans to mine, for export, 17.6 million tonnes of hard coking coal over 20 years. This coal has been stored underground for millions of years and alongside it, tonnes of trapped methane. The mining process is predicted to release methane equivalent to about 6.8 million tonnes of CO2. This is more each year than is released by all the dairy cows on the West Coast. Even if the company were to flare some of this gas, there would still be significant emissions, which New Zealand is liable for under the Kyoto agreement. The Green Party has laid complaints with the Advertising Standards Complaints Board and the Commerce Commission over the pamphlet because it believes the low environmental impact claims are misleading and deceptive.

"Whatever way you look at it, it is ludicrous for a Pike to claim low environmental impact. This mine will contribute millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases to the planet's atmosphere, there will be a coal truck every four minutes through Greymouth, a road is being constructed in an ecological area on the conservation estate, and the mine was opposed by DOC and the Conservation Board.

The Party has also laid a complaint with the Securities Commission over the company's failure to disclose to potential investors the likely financial liability for the greenhouse gas emissions from the operation.

"The future price on carbon has been estimated at between $15 and $100/tonne. This would lead to a cost of between $100 million and $678 million over the life of the mine. That would be a significant impact on any returns to investors," Ms Fitzsimons says, "which the company should not attempt to conceal."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Statement: Deadly Eruption Of Whakaari / White Island

At this stage, we can confirm that amongst those currently listed as missing or injured are New Zealanders who were part of the tour operation, and tourists from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. That is to the best of our knowledge.

To those who have lost or are missing family and friends, we share in your unfathomable grief at this moment in time, and in your sorrow. Your loved ones stood alongside kiwis who were hosting you here. We grieve with you, and we grieve with them... More>>

Police Update: Five Confirmed Dead - Eight People Unaccounted For
Work has continued overnight to respond to the eruption on White Island. Enquiries with tour operators indicate that 47 people were on White Island at the time of the eruption. Police can now advise that in addition to the five people confirmed deceased, eight people remain unaccounted for following the eruption. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Eruption And Tourism Safety
Adventure tourism is a central theme in New Zealand tourism, and by definition, adventure always includes a certain level of risk. That said, New Zealand itself is also at risk of being seen as a tourism destination where commercial factors – rather than safety factors – are routinely allowed to determine the point where the boundary line of acceptable risk is being drawn. More>>


Big, Bold, Permanent Change Needed: Children's Commissioner On 2019 Child Poverty Monitor

“I want to see family incomes dramatically raised by increasing benefits and making the minimum wage a living wage. And the Government needs to move much faster at increasing the supply of social housing..." More>>


RNZ Live Updates: Weather Mayhem Strands Tourists; Major Roads Closed

Hundreds of tourists are stranded on the West Coast, and on the other side of the South Island a flood-damaged bridge has closed State Highway 1, after a weekend of torrential rain... More>>


Policing: Armoured Specialist Police Vehicles

New Zealand Police has taken delivery of three Armoured Special Purpose Vehicles. The vehicles are unmarked and look like standard Toyota Land cruisers... They will not be used for patrol. More>>

Single Use PVC And Polystyrene Out: Next Steps On Plastic Waste

The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. More>>


Faafoi Statement: Minister's Suspicious Immigration Texts

I have apologised to the Prime Minister and understand I have let her down in regards to my dealings with Jason Kerrison over an immigration matter concerning his family. More>>


NZ First Conflicts Of Interest: New Details Around Timeline

New information has emerged showing it was the New Zealand First chief of staff who identified potential conflicts of interest between a forestry company and two senior government ministers, sparking a series of declarations. More>>



Five New Cancer Meds In Six Months: Pharmac Funds More Cancer Medicines, Faster Assessment

PHARMAC has confirmed that two new medicines – olaparib for ovarian cancer and fulvestrant for breast cancer – have been approved for funding... Rituximab and bortezomib, which are already funded, have also been approved for widened access following successful commercial proposals from new suppliers. More>>






InfoPages News Channels