Bright Future for Coal: Gallop,Dim Future for Gallop: Greens

April 11, 2003 - PREMIER Geoff Gallop's endorsement of coal as a clean energy source with a bright future in electricity generation in WA reveals the Government's lack of commitment to protecting the environment.

Dr Gallop was launching Wesfarmers Premier Coal's 50 Years of Powering Western Australia book in Collie last Friday.

'The Premier is pork-barrelling the electorate and in the process compromising the future of the State,' Greens (WA) Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple said.

Australia is one of the biggest polluters of greenhouse gas emissions per person in the world. In 2000, coal burning to produce electricity accounted for one-third of Australia's total greenhouse emissions.

'The Government should be focusing on renewable energy technologies,' Mr Chapple continued. 'After two years of procrastination, we still have no renewable energy access regime, and the private renewable energy industry is dead in the water as a result.'

'So-called clean coal offers limited scope for reducing greenhouse emissions. By contrast, solar thermal, wind, hydro and photovoltaic energy sources can almost entirely eliminate greenhouse emissions in power generation.'

Greenhouse gas emissions accelerate global warming and result in climate change.

'Promoting clean coal as an important element of a diverse energy supply in the State is cynical,' Mr Chapple said.

A report prepared in 2003 for WWF Australia by sustainability consultant Dr Mark Diesendorf reveals that the Australian public is unaware of the significant role of coal-fired power in our greenhouse pollution problem.

Australia's twenty-four coal-fired power stations are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country.

In 2000, 84% of Australia's electricity came from coal burning.

In the period 1990-1999, the trend of increasing coal use in Australia outstripped the OECD average and even that of countries like the USA.

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