The Nature Conservation Council of NSW has condemned today’s approval by the State Government of plans for two new gas or coal-fired power stations as extreme environmental negligence.
“The approval of two coal-fired power stations is an absolute disaster for the climate, with the potential to increase NSW’s carbon emissions by 15 per cent,” said Max Phillips, Climate Campaigner for the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
“Now that we know the harm that burning coal is doing to our environment, it is negligent to approve plans to burn even more coal. Even fuelling these facilities by gas will increase NSW’s emissions by 7 per cent.
“Hiding behind the excuse of ‘fuel neutrality’ is a cop-out and effectively an admission that new coal power is such a bad idea that the government is reluctant to publicly associate with it.
“Whether new power-stations are fuelled by coal or gas has huge consequences for NSW’s emissions and is a decision that should be made by government, not left to the market.
“Given the huge amount of coal infrastructure, and lack of gas infrastructure, located both at Lithgow and in the Hunter, it is highly likely these new power stations will be coal.
The government should be working to make NSW the clean energy state, not approving
additional dirty coal power.
“The Institute of Sustainable Futures, using latest projections of NSW’s electricity use by Transgrid, has shown there is no need for new power stations and that energy efficiency, demand management and renewable energy can easily satisfy our needs.
“The Nature Conservation Council calls on the government to rescind this negligent decision and instead draw up plans for building clean energy infrastructure for NSW.
“Why aren’t we building large solar thermal plants in outback NSW as they are doing in Spain? Why aren’t we rapidly expanding wind power as they are in Europe, China and the United States?
“NSW has fallen behind other states in investing in clean energy technologies. We urgently need government policies and plans to make NSW the clean energy state, but instead we get the approval of more dirty coal,” Mr Phillips said.