ICYMI: World's biggest PR firm dumps coal, free coal ads in the Fin, giant pile of coal for every Australian, oh and also a new PM

In case you missed it.

Our top-five takeaways for this week: the world's biggest PR firm dumping coal clients for 'reputational reasons'; free advertisements in the AFR (if you're the Minerals Council); even the ex head of the Australian Coal Association wants #nonewcoalmines; giant piles of coal for every Australian; oh, and a new Prime Minister for Australia.

1/ World's biggest PR firm dumps coal

Coal is now a "no-go area" says world's biggest PR company, announcing it will no longer work with coal producers and climate-change deniers, for ‘reputational’ reasons.

When even the spin doctors think coal is unspinnable, it’s time to take action: http://nonewcoalmines.org.au/take_action


2/ If it looks like a Minerals Council Ad...?

Dear Fin Review, if it looks like a Minerals Council ad and smells like a Minerals Council ad.

The Australia Institute has checked facts about clean coal. Carbon Capture and Storage would decarbonise coal, but despite decades of coal spin it's still decades away of reaching scale. On the other hand, 'High Efficiency Low Emissions' coal power plants are lower emissions... because they use less coal.

In short, the technology that works doesn't exist, and the technology that exists works, a little bit, by using a little less coal.

We look forward to reading about all this in the Fin!


3/ Ex head of Australian Coal Association calls for No New Coal Mines

Ian Dunlop, ex-head of the Australian Coal Association, objected to the Warkworth coal mine expansion -- and all new coal mines..

"The facts are that this is happening. The uncertainty is not in the science, the science is absolutely crystal clear, the uncertainty is what humanity is going to do about it. 

Now, if we have any sense, what we have to do is now start to wind those emissions back.

That means you cannot keep expanding coal, because we do not have the tech at the scale required to contain those emissions. …

You are not going to see existing operations shut down at all. But major expansions that are going to go on for 20 or 30 years, like Warkworth and others, and certainly new projects, really cannot proceed.

It's totally irresponsible to keep adding additional emissions from coal consumption to the mix.

Listen to full ABC Newcastle interview here


4/ Giant piles of coal for every Australian! 

If you were in any doubt about the obscene size of Australia’s proposed Carmichael coal mine, The Australia Institute did the figures.

  • The 40km mine would cut a scar across most capital cities.
  • If the coal from the mine was laid a metre deep and ten metres across, it would stretch around the world five times over and more than half again. 
  • It would give every Australian a giant pile of coal.
  • Burning the coal would take up .5% of the global carbon budget.

And this is just one mine… Read more on incredible vastness of just one Aussie coal mine. 



5/ oh, and also, Australia has a new Prime Minister... and a new Water Minister.

In case you’ve just emerged from under a rock, Monday evening saw Malcolm Turnbull defeat Tony Abbott in a leadership challenge, becoming the 29th Prime Minister of Australia.

Mr Turnbull was quick to back the Liberal Party’s existing position on climate change, spruiking clean coal as an alternative to a 50% renewable energy target.

Meanwhile, the new Coalition deal shifts responsibility for water to agriculture, giving it to Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce. He's facing heat about the Shenua mine in his own electorate, in particular about water impacts. And this is what Barnaby said last weekend about coal mines:

So what does this all mean for #NoNewCoalMines? Will Turnbull go ahead with plans to pour public money poured into big new coal mines? Or will he start winding back the $4 subsidy on every tonne of coal? How is Joyce's new position bear on the coal mines he thinks aren't needed? Watch this space.