61 prominent Australians back no new coal mines

61 prominent Australians have signed an open letter backing the President of Kiribati’s call for a moratorium on new coal mines.

The letter, published in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, calls on French President, Francois Hollande and world leaders to put coal exports on the agenda at the 2015 Paris COP21 climate summit.

Signatories include former RBA governor Bernie Fraser, 2003 Australian of the Year Fiona Stanley AC, Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty AC, Indigenous campaigner Amelia Telford, Robert Manne, Carmen Lawrence, J.M. Coetzee, Bishop George Browning, Adam Spencer, Richard Flanagan, David Pocock and many more. 

For full list of signatories, download pdf below.

Notable Australians backing the call for a moratorium on new coal mines represent diverse fields including medicine, science, indigenous, multicultural, faith, arts and literature, politics, business and sports.

The statement reads:

We, the undersigned, urge you to put coal exports on the agenda at the 2015 Paris COP21 climate summit and to help the worlds governments negotiate a global moratorium on new coal mines and coal mine expansions, as called for by President Anote Tong of the Republic of Kiribati, and Pacific Island nations.

Australia’s new Prime Minister has outlined his vision in recent weeks for a ‘21st century government’, acknowledging that ‘the pace of change is remarkable’.

On 4 September 2015, at the Pacific Island Development Forum, the historic Suva Declaration called for:

A new global dialogue on the implementation of an international moratorium on the development and expansion of fossil fuel extracting industries, particularly the construction of new coal mines, as an urgent step towards decarbonising the global economy.

Last week The Australia Institute published a report outlining the economic case for a moratorium on new coal mines.

“This is a powerful statement. Increasingly Australians and people from all over the world are realising the case for new coal mines fails environmentally as well as economically,” Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Ben Oquist said. 

The letter was published with the support of GetUp!, Greenpeace, Australian Conservation Foundation, Seed, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, 350.org, Doctors for the Environment Australia, Friends of the Earth, Market Forces, and The Wilderness Society. 

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