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Northern direction: If NSW had the Queensland coal royalty system
If NSW had adopted Queensland’s progressive coal royalty system in 2021-22 it would have raised an additional $2.8 billion. For 2022-23 this figure is estimated at between $4.2 billion and $6.2 billion.
Submission – Hunter Valley Operations coal mine expansion
The Australia Institute made a submission on the Environmental Impact Statement of the Hunter Valley Operations coal mine expansion proposal. Our submission focuses on the economic assessment of the project, written by Ernst and Young (EY). EY’s assessment overstates the benefits of the project and understates its costs. It is not suitable for decision-making purposes.
Move on, nothing to see here
The Australia Institute made a submission on the revised Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Whitehaven Coal’s Winchester South proposal. Our submission focused on the economic assessment within the EIS, conducted by Deloitte Access Economics.
From Russia with love
Australian coal export revenue increased by $73b, or 186% in 2021-22. Between $21b and $39b of this is directly attributable to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Submission on Moolarben OC3 Coal Extension Project
The Australia Institute made a submission on the Environmental Impact Statement of the Moolarben OC3 extension project. The economic assessment of the project heavily understates its costs and overstates its benefits. At the USA Environmental Protection Agency’s central social cost of carbon estimate, the cost of the direct emissions alone is $156 million, greater than estimated royalty revenue – $152 million.
Submissions on reconsideration of fossil fuel projects under the EPBC Act
In early November 2022, Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek agreed to reassess 18 fossil fuel projects that had previously been approved under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act. The reassessment was requested by the Environment Council of Central Queensland, represented by the law firm Environmental Justice Australia.
Submission: Inquiry into supporting democracy in our region
Australia can contribute significantly to democracy, security and prosperity in our region by addressing the region’s most existential threat, climate change, and by better governing our own resource sector.
Trade with no cap
The Australia Institute made a submission on draft legislation that would establish a new kind of carbon credit in Australia. The proposed Safeguard Mechanism legislation fails to clarify how new entrants will be managed and does not address integrity and additionality concerns around offsetting units.
Submission on draft terms of reference for Valeria Coal Project environmental impact statement
The Australia Institute made a submission to the Queensland Coordinator-General’s consultation on terms of reference for the Valeria Coal Project environmental impact statement. The economic assessment of the project should include coal market scenarios that reflect climate action required to meet the Paris Agreement. Methods used by coal industry economists to downplay the costs of carbon emissions should be explicitly ruled out.
4.3 billion tonnes of emissions is not OK
The Australia Institute welcomes the opportunity to appeal Report 1727 North West Shelf Project Extension Proposal. The role of the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is to prevent, control and abate pollution and environmental harm. In recommending the approval of a 50-year extension of Australia’s most polluting fossil fuel project, the North West Shelf
Waratah Coal v Youth Verdict court case
The Australia Institute’s Research Director Rod Campbell was an expert witness in the precedent-setting case against Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal Project in the Galilee Basin. The case was brought by Indigenous-led Queensland group Youth Verdict, who were represented by the Environmental Defenders’ Office (EDO).
Glendell Continued Operations Project
The economic assessments of the Glendell proposal overstate its benefits and understate its costs. Applying current carbon prices to only its direct emissions gives a net present value of between negative $460 and negative $570 million. This excludes consideration of the potential heritage and biodiversity impacts.
Narrabri Underground Mine Stage 3 Extension
The Department of Planning and Environment recommends approval of the project based on economic benefits, but finds these benefits reduce “significantly” if greenhouse emissions are properly accounted for. The Department did not quantify the significant reduction. Applying a carbon price of between $24.50/t and $73/t reduces the value of the project to zero. Such carbon
Submission on Darwin Pipeline Duplication
The Australia Institute made a submission on Santos’ proposed Darwin Pipeline Duplication project that aims to facilitate carbon capture and storage in the oil and gas fields north of Darwin. Aside from the low likelihood of successful carbon capture and storage eventuating, the aim of the project appears to be to increase gas exports through
The LNG industry portrays itself as essential to WA’s economy, a sentiment echoed by the WA Government. However, LNG industry contributes just 1% of the WA state budget and two thirds of Western Australia’s gas is effectively given away by the Western Australian and Australian Governments with almost no royalties or tax being paid. The
The Fossil Fuelled 5
This synthesis report was conducted by Freddie Daley of the University of Sussex in collaboration with the Fossil Fuel Non- Proliferation Treaty Initiative, as well as key partners in each of the five countries analysed – Greenpeace Norway, The Australia Institute, Stand.earth, Uplift UK and Oil Change International. The scientific consensus is clear: limiting global
Undermining Climate Action
Australia’s target of net zero emissions by 2050 is inconsistent with its plans to massively expand coal and gas production. New fossil fuel projects under development in Australia would result in 1.7 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year – equivalent annual emissions of over 200 coal-fired power stations, twice as much as global
Submission: Inquiry into the Closure of the Hazelwood and Yallourn Power Stations
The Australia Institute welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Inquiry into the Closure of the Hazelwood and Yallourn Power Stations. The Australia Institute is an independent public policy think tank, based in Canberra. We carry out research on a broad range of economic, social and environmental issues. Two recent research papers by
Offsetting us up for failure
The draft offsets policy undermines the NT Government policy of adopting Fracking Inquiry Recommendation 9.8 – that all life-cycle emissions from onshore gas projects be offset. The draft policy also proposes ‘indirect emissions offsets’ that are not utilised in any other jurisdiction and would be entirely without integrity. Indirect offsets would undermine other offset markets
Climate of the Nation 2021
Climate of the Nation is the longest continuous survey of community attitudes to climate change in the country.
We can work it out: Lessons from Germany’s Coal Commission
Like Australia, Germany has had a long and polarised debate about phasing out coal-fired power stations. Germany formed a multi-stakeholder group that negotiated a consensus to phase out coal power by 2038. A similar process could help Australia navigate the trade-offs inherent in such a change.
Last Roll of the Dice: Submission on the Winchester South EIS economic assessment
The Australia Institute made a submission on the Winchester South coal mine environmental impact statement. Winchester South is a marginal project. The economic assessment, astonishingly, does not consider the impact of climate action on the coal market. Optimism bias and management incentives explain why mining approval is being sought despite the weak financial or economic
Back to the Past
Despite worsening climate crises and forecasts of declining coal markets, the NSW Government is proposing to release new areas for coal exploration. New mine proposals near Rylstone would impose significant costs on the local community and be unlikely to bring any economic benefit.
Hume Coal Project – submission to NSW Independent Planning Commission
The Hume Coal Project is not economically viable and should be rejected. Despite recommending against approval, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment overstates the economic case for the project.
Regulatory carbon capture
Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund will soon incorporate carbon capture and storage projects. The design and development of the CCS ERF method lacks integrity and independence. The proposed method will allow industry to sidestep regulation, enable new gas and oil projects to exist where they otherwise would not have, and result in more emissions being emitted
Out of Sight, Out of Mind / 知らないでは 済まされない
日本語は以下 ↓ Japan uses a lot of coal. The 170 million tonnes the country burned in 2020 is enough to fill the Tokyo Dome 102 times over. Burning so much coal is a key reason Japan is the fifth-largest greenhouse emitter in the world. If the world is to avoid dangerous climate change, coal use
Why the Scarborough LNG development cannot proceed
Woodside and BHP’s Scarborough to Pluto LNG project is the most polluting fossil fuel project currently proposed in Australia. It would result in annual carbon pollution equal to over 15 new coal fired power stations, and more pollution than the proposed Adani coal mine. The direct pollution from this project would increase WA’s total emissions
Mind the gaps
Existing mines in NSW’s Upper Hunter region are approved to mine 241 million tonnes per year, but mined just 150 million tonnes in 2019/20. The difference of 91.5 million tonnes shows that there is no need for new coal projects in the state. Filling in the Upper Hunter’s final voids would cost between $12 billion
Barossa Area Development Offshore Project Proposal
The Barossa Proposal could be one of the dirtiest LNG projects in the world, leading to immense harm to the environment in the immediate vicinity, and further accelerating dangerous climate change. Due to the high climate risks associated with this project, going ahead with the financing of this project would contradict the stated purpose of
Fossil fuel subsidies in Australia
In 2020-21, Australian Federal and state governments provided a total of $10.3 billion worth of spending and tax breaks to assist fossil fuel industries. The $7.8 billion cost of the fuel tax rebate alone is more than the budget of the Australian Army. Over the longer term, $8.3 billion is committed to subsidising gas extraction,