Sunday 6 November 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE USE
Coal Action Network spokesperson Tim Jones says the group is pleased the Labour Party has decided to oppose plans to mine Southland lignite. In its newly-released environment policy, Labour says it will, if elected to Government, not allow Solid Energy to mine for lignite in Southland or convert lignite to liquid fuels.
“We view Labour’s policy as a major step in the right direction,” says Tim Jones. “Labour has clearly taken on board the message that mining up to six billion tonnes of lignite that lies beneath prime Southland farmland will lead to many billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and also devastate the land, rivers, and air of Southland.”
Labour joins the Green Party and the Mana Party in announcing policy opposed to the expansion of coal mining in general and lignite mining in particular.
“Unlike the National Government, Labour, the Greens and Mana understands that New Zealand’s international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would be completely undermined by a future in which we make our economy more, not less, dependent on fossil fuels,” Tim Jones continued.
But the Coal Action Network Aotearoa is sounding a note of caution about Labour’s policy. “Although stopping Solid Energy in its tracks would be a major achievement, private companies, such as L&M Mining, are also sniffing around the Southland lignite reserves. If these companies simply step in and take Solid Energy’s place, neither the climate nor the Southland environment will be any better off.”
“That’s why we are calling for a total ban on new coal mining, including lignite mining in Southland, as the first step towards phasing out the use of coal altogether,” Tim Jones concluded.
Tim Jones, Coal Action Network Aotearoa Spokesperson
027 359 0293