Undermining the future | The Jackal

23 May 2013

Undermining the future

Today, Coal Action Network reported:

“The Government appears hell-bent on backing yet another financially precarious coal company. It has changed the law retrospectively to give itself the power to allow access for mining, contrary to the requirements of the Conservation Act.

“Why allow this struggling company to rip the heart out of our precious conservation estate and wreck the climate? This is not what the people want and it will be opposed all the way, from in the courts to on the land.

I totally agree with Jeanette Fitzsimons and the 40,000 people who marched down Queen Street to protest against mining in conservation areas. Ignoring the people is bad enough, but the process National has used to allow Bathurst Resources Ltd to mine Denniston Plateau is entirely undemocratic.

Not only has there been no proper public consultation, it appears there has been no proper consideration of the environmental impact either. Along with the West Coast green gecko, giant land snail and giant weta, there is a plethora of flora unique to the area that will be adversely affected. There is also the increased greenhouse gas to consider that will be released from burning even more coal.

An open cast mine at Denniston Plateau spanning 106 hectares will not only be detrimental to our biodiversity, it will mean increased carbon in the atmosphere leading to even more climate change. When most other countries are moving away from coal for that very reason, New Zealand is flying in the face of environmental concerns and economic responsibility, which is something Fitzsimons eloquently highlights:

“Why back coal, a sunset industry, when we could be getting ahead of the clean energy curve? All around the world investors are getting out of coal because they know 80% of it can never be burned if we are to stay within a safe level of climate change.

“Papers released by Treasury this week show that Solid Energy advised the Government in 2010 to mine as much as possible, as fast as possible, before the world sees the light and moves to renewable energy. It appears to me that the Government has wholeheartedly embraced Solid’s plan to destroy as much of the climate as possible before they are stopped,” said Fitzsimons.

You can help save the Denniston Plateau by signing Forest and Birds petition here.