It's Coal, Coal, Coal for Australia and Poland

Final Week 1 Tuesday

Australia

Today’s first Fossil goes to Australia for approving and funding fossil fuels!

Crikey, Australia, you’re stinking up the Pacific! What are you doing potentially giving billions to fund a mine that would increase the country’s emissions, endanger the already fragile Great Barrier Reef, and impact the vulnerable Pacific Islands?!

Both the Australian Queensland state and federal government have given approval for the Adani mine in the Galilee Basin. The only part of this devious plan that is missing, is funding. Not to worry, Adani has applied for nearly $1 billion in handouts from the government-backed Northern Australian Infrastructure Fund and are also seeking funding from China!

Not only would funding this mine be catastrophic for at least four threatened species, several vulnerable habitats, and the Great Barrier Reef, it would release heaps of emissions. The annual emissions from the Adani coal mine would be greater than the annual emissions of all 14 independent Pacific island countries (and also represents twice the emissions of New Zealand).

As bad neighbors go, Australia is the worst! Providing funding and approval for these mines (Adani isn’t the only one!) would put its already vulnerable neighbors at further risk. You should be striving to protect the Pacific Islands, Australia, not destroy them.

 

Poland

Our second Fossil of the Day goes to Poland for obstructing negotiations and trying to subsidize coal, rather than phasing it out.

With great power comes great responsibility. Unfortunately, Poland isn’t keen on the responsibility part. The host of the next COP is trying to turn the EU’s flagship climate tool into the largest coal subsidy scheme.

In the ongoing negotiations on the revision of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) Poland has been putting outstanding and relentless efforts to obstruct negotiations and sabotage the climate integrity of this climate policy.

After months of difficult negotiations between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, the EU is expected to finalize the revision process and set the rules for the coming decade (2020-2030) at a meeting tomorrow. The provisions designed to help Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries in the transformation of their energy systems remain a major sticking point in the negotiations.

To reflect the different starting points of the EU countries and challenges they face in terms of the decarbonisation EU ETS sets up dedicated funds to support lower income member states (namely CEE countries) in their efforts to transition towards clean energy. But at the moment the vast majority of these funds are being misused for subsidizing fossil fuels, coal power in particular. Poland has been fighting against any measures that would exclude coal from these funds in the future and also asking to further increase them. If Poland gets its way the ETS funds for CEE countries will be worth up to EUR 35bn and will potentially turn into largest coal subsidy scheme in history.

As the host of the next COP, countries in the EU should be scaling up climate action, not looking for ways to prolong coal through subsidies. It’s time to step up Poland – exclude coal!

 

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 1100 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 120 working to promote government and individual action to limit human induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org 

About the Fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999, in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations or in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.