PNG government speaking with two heads over coal

queensland coal mine

Is the Papua New Guinea government in favour of coal mining or against it?

While our Ambassador in Canberra is calling on Australia to cut back on coal mining as part of the global response to climate change our Mining Minister is investing tax payers money in the development of PNG’s own coal industries.

Ambassador Charles Lepani says the climate impacts of coal will have a ‘tremedous’ consequences in the Pacific [see story below] but Minister for Mining Byron Chan says coal mining provides a great opportunity for PNG. And the PNG government has backed him up by investing K10 million of tax payers money to develop a coal industries in the country.

The PNG government is also being heavily lobbied by Australian company Mayor resources to invest in new coal powered electricity generation in the major centres of Port Moresby, Lae and Madang and is working with international companies Waterford and Pacific Mining on coal exploration in Gulf Province.

So what is the PNG government position on coal?

Paris Agreement: PNG calls for Australian coal mining slowdown as new climate deal looms
Tom Iggulden | ABC News | 22 April 2016
Papua New Guinea has called on the Australian Government to restrict coal mining amid doubts about the effectiveness of the Paris Agreement on carbon emissions.
The revelation comes as representatives from 160 countries, including Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt, prepare to sign the agreement in Paris later today.
PNG High Commissioner Charles Lepani told AM his country was paying the consequences for Australia’s other economic activities.
“The consequences of coal, for instance coal mining, will impact us tremendously going forward,” Mr Lepani said.
The ambassador confirmed he would like to see the Australian coal mining industry slowed down.
“Yes, we have made that point clear to your Government and your leaders,” he said.
The Federal Government says it is committed to implementing its pledge to lower emissions by 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.
A gathering was organised in Canberra last night of senior diplomats from other countries signing the Paris Agreement to celebrate the milestone.
US ambassador John Berry said the agreement was “a testament to human tenacity.”
China’s Charge d’Affaires Cai Wei said it was important countries stick to their Paris pledges.
“We will honour what we have promised, despite enormous downward pressure on the Chinese economy,” he said.
But Mr Lepani sounded a note of caution at the gathering.
“We are very happy in fact that some semblance of international action has been achieved in Paris.
“I say semblance, we have see serious action going forward.”

3 Comments

Filed under Australia, Environmental impact, Papua New Guinea

3 responses to “PNG government speaking with two heads over coal

  1. Moses Wininga

    We understand that the best solution is to have mechanised filtering tools up the chimney pipes to filter the black carbon down and allow only clean air into the space as is environment friendly plan.

    We are supporting our Mining Minister upon such awareness of the possible mechanised tools will be fitted up the chinney pipes of the power stations and factory chiney pipes to see this project trialed.

    We landowners support this project as Port Moresby is very far from my remote Area of Sandaun Province and I hardly see such government officers in dark glass houses,tinted vehicles and VIPS coming around here and helping us in terms of development.

    We only hear of nice sweet talks in media and hardly see and receive tangible development activities so we will support Coal Mining Here in Supporting the Government of the day.

  2. Alphonse Aime

    The push behind opening coal mines in PNG I suspect is coming from companies in Australia where there has been a lot o debate to do away with Coal Mines. I would not be surprised if the good Minister is being wowed by some personalities in Australia.

  3. David lambu

    Why do we need coal mines in PNG? Most commonwealth countries are doing away with coal mines which were useful during good old days where coal was needed the most to generate energy supply in industries and homes.

    In PNG, we have abundance of renewable water resources everywhere to generate power and energy needs of our industries and personal use at minimal damage to the environment like the Rouna and Yonki Power supplies. The water being used is still consumable and the air is pollution.

    Why is the Honourable Mining Minister trying to pollute air, water and the environment which no amount of work can restore it to its originality once damage is done.
    The Hon Minister should spend more time to review the Mining Act and the Oil and Gas Act to give more benefits to the customary landowners where the people are complaining, for instance, the Bougainvillians having loggerheads with BCL and Hon John Momis.

    Coal mining is not welcomed in PNG.

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