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Concern on consent for coal mine on conservation land

29th August 2011

Concern on consent for coal mine on conservation land

The Council for Socially Responsible Investment has expressed grave concerns about the recent consent for a Denniston opencast coal mine on conservation land. The Chair of the Council, Dr Robert Howell, called for a full evaluation of the future social, environmental and economic impacts of such a mine before any decision is made to proceed with this project.

The exclusion of the impact of climate change, because of legislative restrictions, means that it is highly likely that the tax payer will end up subsidising this operation. These subsidies are likely to be significantly greater than any short term economic benefit from an increase in jobs on the Coast and other financial considerations. The economic benefit to all New Zealanders of the open cast coal mine is highly dubious. This option needs to be compared to a wide range of clean technology options that are available for Government promotion and investment. Clean tech developments should have much greater benefit in terms of jobs, social, environmental and economic outcomes over the long term. Clean tech businesses provide jobs that are more sustainable, benefit the community and the environment, and make economic sense.

When the environment, economic and moral aspects of this project are taken into account, New Zealanders will seriously question the value of this proposal.

The Council for Socially Responsible Investment was formed in response to a growing demand from ordinary people and investment institutions for help in making ethical investment choices. The Council is a charitable trust which:

• promotes ethical, sustainable investment
• helps people and organisations to develop guidelines, investments and methods for socially responsible investment
• researches, educates, promotes and advocates.

ENDS

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