In case you missed it. 

Our top-five takeaways for this week: funds worth $3.7 trillion pledge to dump coal; Australians want services not more coal subsidies; have we reached peak coal price?, people vs polluters in the Philippines and who's going to pay to fix a giant toxic hole in the ground?


1/ Funds worth $3.7 trillion pledge to dump coal

In New York as part of Climate Week, over 2,000 individuals and 400 institutions are now committed to pulling their money from fossil fuel companies, together representing a remarkable $3.7 trillion (USD$2.6t) of investments.

(And in case you were wondering, yes, this was the thing with Leo -- who committed to divesting The Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation from fossil fuels.)


2/ Majority of Australians want services, not more coal subsidies 

Just as new Resources & Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg says our 5 billion dollar Northern Australia fund could be used to finance coal, a new report released this week by The Australia Institute shows that 78% of Australians would rather government subsidies for the mining industry redirected to essential services like health, education and infrastructure.


3/ Coal futures drop to $50/T, Goldman Sachs call peak

This week saw coal futures drop to $50/T for the first time since 2003, with Goldman Sachs going so far as to suggest we may have seen the peak in coal prices.

This might be the time to remind coal miners of The Australia Institute's Chief Economist Richard Denniss presentation to the London School of Economics on how a moratorium helps coal miners.

"Coal expansions hurt incumbents and those invested in them. Companies aren't allowed to call for help. What would happen if the coal mining industry went public and said 'how about we colluded to restrict supply and drive the price up? That's called a cartel...so I'm here to help them."


4/ People vs Polluters in the Philippines

In what could be the first of complaint of its kind in the world, an alliance of 14 civil society groups and 20 individuals filed a complaint on Tuesday with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) seeking an investigation of 50 fossil fuel companies which they accused of causing global warming and committing human rights violations.

“Basically, we are asserting that there are many human rights, from right to life, property, food security, even women’s rights, sectoral rights, which have been violated every time there are impacts of global warming, whether it’s El Nino, or sea level rise, or ocean acidification, where the quality of our marine plants and animals are affected,” Attorney Grizelda Mayo-Anda, the complainants’ legal representative, said in an interview.


5/ Mining industry to leave huge toxic holes across Australia for taxpayers to clean up

An industry insider has warned that taxpayers may foot the bill for cleaning up mine sites ('mine rehabilitation') unless government and industry step up.

Dr Peter Erskine from the University of Queensland's Sustainable Minerals Institute said although state governments hold financial securities for mine rehabilitation, they're nowhere near enough.

"Once you actually factor in the cost of rehabilitation in to the bottom line of some of these mines they're unviable," he said.