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Australian coal sector acts on emissions

April 2006

Coal producers in Australia have collectively set aside A$300million ($215m, £125m) to find ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Each of the 19 companies that have signed up so far pays a levy into the fund.

Mark O’Neill, executive director of the Australian Coal Association, said: ‘Today the coal industry is putting its money where its mouth is. We as an industry recognize that greenhouse gas emissions have to be cut significantly.’

O’Neill wanted more involvement, however. He said: ‘There are a number of projects actually being brought forward by power generators, which is very pleasing, and the ones that we’re working with are very prepared to obviously accept their share of the burden here. But not all power generators are coming forward with projects and we’d like to see the whole black coal power generation industry somehow making a contribution.’

Ian Campbell, Australia’s environment minister, said the fund would complement the government’s investment in low emissions technology, and warned: ‘I think it’s a life and death matter for the planet, to be frank.’

Conservationists have welcomed the initiative but have added that fossil fuel research is not necessarily the only answer.




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