Coal-fired power also a continued burden on the health system

Thursday, 7 April

WA Greens Energy spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC said a Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) report on the impacts of coal dust in the European Union, released yesterday, should be the last nail in the coffin for the WA coal industry.

“This damning report has found that emissions from coal-fired power plants in the EU, and including Croatia, Serbia and Turkey, claimed almost 23,000 lives in 2013 and cost health systems as much as 62 billion euros,” Mr Chapple said.

“This is not new information about the damage that coal dust can do to the human body, however the sheer scale of the problem and its burden on the health system must be considered realistically given our continued reliance on coal as a fuel source.

“This Government has continued to invest in our aging coal-fired power stations - a hugely costly white elephant - for the sake of what it likes to call ‘energy security’, with no thought for the environmental, social or economic costs.

“As a result, we now have a problem with surplus electricity in the South West Interconnected System because of this government’s poor handling of rooftop solar uptake and a blind desire to keep ancient, dirty, coal-fired power stations running.

“At this point, I would be willing to bet that it is pride keeping the Barnett government from shutting down Muja AB power station altogether and committing to a transition towards a clean energy economy. The shocking figures in this report should make this decision a no-brainer.

“I will endeavour to make sure that Parliament is made aware of the findings of this report and seek a detailed response from the government on how they plan to alleviate the potential for similar outcomes in Western Australia.”

For more information please contasct Media Liaison Tim Oliver on 0431 9696 25 or 08 9486 8255.

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