Greens push to close coalmining in 10 years – by Kylar Loussikian (The Australian – March 3, 2017)

The NSW Greens will today call for the phase-out of all coalmining over a decade, a move the industry says will have a devastating effect on jobs and end “almost all” of the state’s electricity generation ­capacity.

The policy, to be launched by federal Greens leader Richard Di Natale and the party’s state energy spokesman, Jeremy Buckingham, also calls for an auction for mining licences over that period to raise $7 billion to be used to support miners and regional communities as they move away from coal.

The state’s coal industry produced 247 million tonnes of raw coal in the last financial year, and 191 million tonnes of saleable coal worth nearly $15bn. It also powers about 80 per cent of the state’s electricity generation capacity.

The Greens would cap thermal coal production at 180 million ­tonnes in the first year of the phase-out, ­reducing to 20 million in the final year before ceasing entirely.

Without the ban, the NSW Treasury forecasts 9.2 billion ­tonnes of coal would be mined by 2056. “Since we cannot rely on the federal government to provide any meaningful action towards mitigating dangerous climate change, we have to rely for now on the states to provide the country with a 21st century energy policy,” ­Senator Di Natale said.

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