International open letter calls for moratorium on new coal mines


World renowned scientists and economists back Kiribati President’s call for No New Coal Mines in open letters published in Saturday’s Guardian UK and this month’s global edition of New Scientist magazine. 

Former NASA Goddard Institute Director Dr. James E. Hansen, Dr. David Suzuki, Nobel Laureate in economics Professor Kenneth Arrow, Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, and Ian Dunlop have joined 52 scientists, economists and other experts in calling for a moratorium on new coal mines ahead of the Paris Climate Summit. 

The list includes notable signatories from a wide range of countries who support the proposition on the basis that it makes economic, scientific and common sense to stop building new coal mines. 

“The world will not succeed in keeping temperature rise under 2 degrees if it continues to construct new coal mines,” Chief Economist at The Australia Institute, Richard Denniss said. 

“You don’t have to be a Nobel Prize winning economist or scientist to understand that digging up and burning more coal means more emissions and more climate change. But high profile support, as well as growing public support, has put a moratorium on new coal mines on the agenda before Paris. 

“The massive expansion of Australian coal mining and exports simply contradicts any claim that the country is interested in combatting climate change. 

“If Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull insists on heading to Paris with the view that Australia can build massive new coal mines and maintain credibility on climate action, he should not be surprised if he finds a hostile audience,” Denniss said. 

During a recent visit to Australia, President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, made clear that his call is, and has always been for a moratorium on new coal mines. It is not an immediate cessation of coal mining or export, as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull continues to contrive. 

“It’s not being suggested that the use of coal be immediately stopped. That would be unreasonable. But I think if we are serious about transitioning to renewable energy then one of the very realistic steps is maybe to look at reviewing our decisions to open new coal mines.” – Anote Tong, ABC AM interview with Michael Brissenden. 

Yesterday 9 prominent Swedes, including world leading scientists, economists, a Mayor and an Archbishop, signed an open letter published in Dagens Nyheter backing No New Coal Mines. 

Financial analysis by Carbon Tracker, respected UK financial analysts, this week found “No new coal mines are needed globally” in a world meeting a 2 degree target. A$140bn of coal and gas projects in Australia would be in the ‘danger zone’ at risk of being stranded assets, and over US$2 trillion globally.

Guardian NNCM Open Letter

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