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A coal mining company has announced it will no longer produce and export timber to Australia due “to the climate change impacts” of the country’s emissions trading scheme.
The World Resources Group (WRG) said the decision was taken due to a new Australian law, the Climate Change (Clean Energy) Act, which is expected to be passed by the Parliament on Tuesday.
“We will no more export timber from Australia to other countries as part of the Australian carbon offset scheme,” the company said in a statement.
“This is because the Australian government’s carbon emissions trading regime is designed to promote sustainable economic development.”
The company said the carbon emissions from Australia’s coal exports were “largely offset” through the carbon credits that the company receives for coal.
The new legislation will “reduce the cost and time for Australia to import and export coal”, the company added.
The company has more than 3,000 workers in Australia.
In a statement on Thursday, the company’s CEO, Richard Smith, said the company would continue to export the timber from the Murray-Darling Basin.
“This decision is due to the climate impact of the carbon tax, which will result in the reduction of the annual revenue of the Murray and Darling Basin timber processing companies by approximately $20 million per annum.
The carbon credits are also offset through the Australian Carbon Tax Credit Scheme,” the statement said.”
The Murray-darling Basin is a major carbon sink for Australian industries and the Government has indicated it will review its carbon emissions target in light of the new legislation.”
The Carbon Pollution Reduction Fund, a government-funded project, pays the company royalties on carbon emissions.
But the WA company’s chief executive, Brian Smith, told ABC News the company was “a good, sustainable business”.
“We’re going to have a long-term plan for us to export and we’re going at a profit, but we’ve got a long way to go,” he said.
The Carbon Reduction Fund is expected in WA’s 2018 budget to be $5 billion.
The WRG said it hoped to export its “minimal” coal output to the US, Japan, and China by 2020.
“Australia is already exporting coal to those countries,” it said.
“Our policy of selling excess coal to the Murray River Basin has been in place since the early 1980s and the coal from the river has been harvested over many years.”
However, as the carbon dioxide emissions from the coal mines have continued to increase, and as the Australian Government continues to introduce carbon pricing, the current coal exports policy cannot continue.
“It said the WA Government would “continue to export coal through the Carbon Reduction Scheme”, which will include the carbon offsets.
The statement did not say if it was concerned about the climate impacts of its current exports.
A spokesman for WA Premier Colin Barnett said the state government was working with industry and the government “to protect and preserve the Murray Darling Basin for future generations”.”
The Government has a very clear policy that our coal export would not be exported under the new carbon offsets policy, but will continue to sell coal to other Australian companies,” the spokesman said.