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Australia is one of the world’s largest exporters of coal

The mining and burning of coal is the number one driver of dangerous climate change – and in 2022 the world's coal consumption is still rising.

Australia, along with Indonesia, is the world’s largest exporter of coal. The coal lobby claims that Australia is only responsible for a small amount of the world's emissions. The truth is, when you account for all the coal and gas we dig up and send overseas, Australia is responsible for 5% of global emissions.

In fact, export coal is Australia’s single biggest contribution to the global climate crisis. The greenhouse gas emissions from coal that is mined in Australia and burned overseas are nearly double Australia’s domestic emissions from other sources, including transport, electricity generation, and agriculture.

For a 50% chance of keeping global warming to safer levels below 1.5°C, scientists say that 95% of Australia's known coal reserves must stay in the ground. 

The science is unequivocal. For any chance at preserving a safe climate, Australia must stop all coal expansion immediately and phase out coal by 2030.

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Australia faces the biggest coal expansion threat in the world

Coal corporations plan to dig almost half the world's new proposed coal projects for export right here in Australia – that's more than anywhere else on the planet. 

Right now, there are 69 proposed new coal projects across NSW and QLD. These include some entirely new coal mines, and many expansions of existing coal mines.

As part of this expansion, Whitehaven Coal, one of Australia's biggest coal producers, is planning to DOUBLE its coal production with four dangerous new coal projects. 

Currently, Australia's federal environment laws do not require the Environment Minister to consider climate impacts when approving new coal projects – despite climate change being the greatest and most urgent threat to our natural environment. But 100 scientists are calling for these laws to be changed.

The world's scientists have warned that all coal expansion must stop immediately to avoid runaway global heating. If we want a chance at a liveable world, all 69 of Australia's new coal projects must be scrapped. 

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Coal mining risks First Nations' cultural heritage

First Nations people should have the final say over what happens on their land. But for years, mining corporations have been undermining laws meant to protect cultural heritage, putting thousands of sites at risk.

The recent destruction by Rio Tinto of the 46,000 year old caves at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia was deeply hurtful to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people, and shocking to us all. The reality is that mining companies routinely damage and disturb Aboriginal culture and sacred sites under existing laws.

Across this continent, First Nations people are leading fights to protect Country and demanding the right to say NO to destructive projects on their land. We must stand with them.

Check out Original Power, Seed Mob, Wangan and Jagalingou Cultural Custodians, and the GetUp! First Nations team to support First Nations-led campaigns to protect Country.

Australia’s coal fuels global climate injustice

It doesn't matter where Australia's coal is burned, people and nature are feeling the impacts here and now.

From Australia’s catastrophic floods and bushfires, to devastating flooding in Pakistan and Bangladesh, deadly heat waves across India, and extreme weather and coastal erosion in the Torres Strait and the Pacific Islands – coal-fuelled climate change is already threatening the lives, livelihoods, culture, and homelands of billions of people around the world.

Too often, it is communities who have contributed the least to the crisis that are on the frontlines of devastating impacts. Australia's outsized contribution to climate change means we have a moral responsibility to act.

For decades, communities on the frontlines have been standing strong and demanding that governments of wealthy, big polluting countries like Australia step up to their climate responsibilities. We must stand with them and demand that Australia meets its international climate agreements, including stopping coal expansion immediately, and phasing out all coal by 2030.

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Coal drives extinction, drains water, and pollutes air

Clearing land for mining destroys habitat, and kills plants and animals. In fact, coal mining is driving Australia’s extinction crisis, threatening the habitats of the endangered koala and greater gliders. Coal also drives climate change, which is having devastating impacts on precious ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef.

Water is our most precious resource. But coal corporations are guzzling 385 billion litres every year from our rivers and groundwater, draining and poisoning water needed for agriculture and drinking. That’s equivalent to the domestic water use of 5.2 million people in Australia.

Toxic air pollution from coal mining risks our health and safety. Each year more than 3000 Australians die a premature death from air pollution caused by the mining and burning of coal.

People power can keep coal in the ground and solve Australia's biggest contribution to the climate crisis!


So what are you waiting for?

Together, we can move Australia beyond coal!