Mining company Glencore could be forced to only sell coal from a new mine in New South Wales to signatories of the Paris climate agreement, under a proposal floated by the state’s independent planning commission.
Opposed by Glencore and its joint-venture partner in the mine, Peabody, the condition would see approval of the Wambo open-cut coalmine in the state’s Hunter Valley linked to the countries it exports to.
But the proposal has prompted a mixed response from environment groups. While some have argued linking the coal mine’s approval to global emissions is positive, others say merely restricting exports to signatories to the Paris agreement will not have any meaningful impact because virtually every country has signed up to the agreement.
In a statement, the NSW independent planning commission said it was considering approving the mine under the condition Glencore prepared an export management plan showing how it would “use its best endeavours” to ensure any coal extracted from the mine only be exported to signatories to the Paris deal, or to countries that have similar policies in place aimed at minimising greenhouse gas emissions.
The purpose of the condition, the commission said, “is to ensure that all practicable measures are adopted by the applicant to minimise greenhouse gas emissions”.