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PM wrong to listen to coal man on climate change

PM wrong to listen to Queensland's coal man on climate change

Auckland-30 October 2006- Greenpeace is utterly flabbergasted that the Labour Party got advice at the weekend from one of Australia's pariahs of climate policy: the Queensland premier and coal man Peter Beattie.

Queensland is the biggest coal exporting state in the world's biggest coal exporting country, with new export infrastructure and new coalmines on the way.

"Queensland is seen as the state which refuses to move on climate change; which is run by the coal industry, and which is one of the reasons that John Howard won't sign up to the Kyoto Protocol," said Vanessa Atkinson, Greenpeace climate change campaigner.

"We applaud Helen Clark for saying that she wants to be bold on climate change, but she's gotten off to a very bad start and is already going in the wrong direction by listening to one of Australia's top coal men. This is evident in the line she is taking on clean coal today," she said.

There is no such thing as "clean coal". The terminology "clean coal" was coined by the coal industry's PR machine, which realised that it had to greenwash the fact that coal is the worst of the fossil fuels causing climate change. This spin will not get us out of climate change.

Technologies such as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) to deal with the carbon dioxide coming from coal are unproven and, according to international scientists, at least 50 years away from being economically and environmentally viable at a widespread level.

CCS would triple the price of coal for electricity, making it much more expensive than renewable energy. Storage sites would have to be maintained and monitored for 100,000 years, plus unquantified liability issues of leaking C02.

ENDS

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