Keep The Coal In The Hole: Why Southland Lignite Shouldn’t Be Mined


Coal Action Network Public Meeting

When: Wednesday 16 February


Where: St John’s Church Hall, cnr Willis and Dixon Streets, Wellington

Time: 7pm


Speaker: Jeanette Fitzsimons, climate change campaigner, former co-leader

of the Green Party


Why Come Along?


Government-owned Solid Energy and other coal companies want to mine the

massive quantities of lignite, a low-quality brown coal, that lies under

Southland farmland. They plan to turn it into briquettes, urea fertiliser,

and synthetic diesel.


Mining and processing lignite will cause extensive local pollution. Even

worse, it will lead to huge greenhouse gas emissions.  Jeanette will speak on

the effects on people of the mining in Southland, and the much greater issue of the

social justice of climate change where the poor always suffer first.


In her recent report Lignite and climate change: The high cost of low grade coal, the

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright, estimates

that there are at least 6 billion tonnes of economically recoverable

lignite reserves in Southland. Using all this, as the mining companies

intend, would lead to at least 8.7 billion tonnes of Co2-equivalent

greenhouse gas emissions – a huge increase in New Zealand’s emissions, and

a significant increase in emissions on a global scale.


Dr Wright, Parliament’s environmental watchdog, has called for the lignite

to remain in the ground. But the Government, blinded by its love for “sexy

coal”, isn’t listening. Government-owned coalminer Solid Energy has just

announced plans for a pilot briquetting plant in Southland. As far as

they’re concerned, that’s just the beginning.


Find out why lignite mining is such a huge issue for the future of this

country. Find out what the Government and the mining companies are

planning. Find out why they have to be stopped. And join the campaign to

stop them.


Coal Action Network Aotearoa