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
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
Coal Action Network Aotearoa