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Pages tagged "Whitehaven"

Archibald Prize winner Blak Douglas unveils new mural confronting coal damage in Redfern

Dhungatti artist and 2022 Archibald Prize winner Blak Douglas has launched his new mural Coalface in Redfern, conveying the damaging impacts the coal industry has on climate, Country and the environment.

Blak Douglas drew inspiration for the artwork from Gomeroi Country in north-west NSW, where coal and gas projects by companies like Whitehaven Coal and Santos are damaging Country.

The mural was unveiled in the heart of Redfern – a place of staunch First Nations history and creativity – and in the electorate of Federal Minister for Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, who has approved five new coal projects since becoming Minister.

Blak Douglas won the Archibald Prize in 2022 for his portrait of Wiradjuri artist Karla Dickens, titled Moby Dickens. Douglas depicted his good friend, Dickens, in the unprecedented 2022 floods in her hometown of Lismore in northern New South Wales, which devastated her community. Blak Douglas also won the Kilgour Prize in 2019, the STILL Award 2020, and was an Archibald Prize finalist five times before winning the esteemed award. 

You can read Blak Douglas' full artist statement below, and visit the mural at 87 Pitt Street, Redfern, NSW 2016. 


By Blak Douglas

It was indeed an honour to be commissioned to create this artwork in aim of speaking out

against the extractive fossil fuel industries whom ignore the destructive impact they have on ecosystems,the environment and climate. 

My intent with this mural was to depict the fragility of fauna against the wrath of coal mining. I chose to feature the Koala in this instance because what we are consistently finding is that this incredibly cute marsupial remains at the fore of the fight for preservation in NSW, not only in itself but its natural habitat. 

There is a key element that exists here on this continent that remains spiritually evasive to many, particularly those who observe life through economic eyes. There is a reason for why rare species of flora & fauna exist upon a landscape that contains desirable minerals.

These species are TOTEMS and caretakers of dreamings that date back what seems a millennia compared to when a “Federation” declared that... a visiting creed would hold rank in a self anointed Government and declare such a treasured ecosystem ‘up for grabs’ to the highest bidder. We must stand up to this injustice for the sake of our threatened species, our climate and also for our children - so that they may enjoy the treasured exuberance of being at one within such a landscape & with such a totem.

New Queensland coal mine approved after state battered by catastrophic climate-induced cyclone and floods

The Queensland Department of Environment and Science has today approved Whitehaven Coal’s Environmental Authority for their proposed Winchester South coal mine, taking this destructive greenfield coal project one step closer to approval.

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Whitehaven Coal's AGM Fiasco

The Gomeroi people have been battling Whitehaven’s coal expansions for years. In 2021, a group of Gomeroi elders released a statement calling for a stop to all new coal and gas projects, and expansions of existing projects, on Gomeroi country.

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Keep Whitehaven coal out of Queensland

The Winchester South Coal Project is a new open-cut thermal and metallurgical coal mine in Central Queensland proposed by Whitehaven Coal.

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3 legal cases challenging Whitehaven’s coal expansion and our Government’s inaction on the climate crisis.

Whitehaven's Narrabri mine expansion would become the dirtiest thermal coalmine in Australia.

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Whitehaven digs in on climate denial with Vickery coal mine investment announcement

Today’s quarterly report announcement by Whitehaven Coal that its board has “approved commencement of early mining” of coal from its Vickery mine is an outrageous move which trashes the climate and further destroys Whitehaven’s reputation.

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NAB’s Climate Report is full of greenwash

Since launching the Move Beyond Coal movement and the NAB #NotAnotherDollar for Whitehaven Coal campaign in September, almost 1,000 people have emailed NAB executives directly asking them to rule out funding for Whitehaven Coal! We’ve sent these emails to NAB executives- Ross McEwan(CEO), Phil Chronican (Chairman), David Gall (Corporate Banking) and Shaun Doolley (Risk) because they have the power to end NAB’s toxic relationship with Whitehaven Coal.

These 1,000 emails have not been responded to by Phil, Ross, David or Shaun, but by Jordan Grace - who heads up NAB’s ‘sustainability’ team. We’d like to thank Jordan for his response, however, we’re still looking forward to hearing from Ross. Sadly, the response we’ve received from NAB’s sustainability team so far essentially redirected us to find detailed information on their approach in their 2022 Climate Report.

So, we thought we’d take a look at NAB’s 2022 Climate Report for clues about how they think they’ve answered our questions and concerns that many of the 1,000 of us included in our emails. 

1. We asked NAB to immediately and publicly end all forms of finance for companies and projects expanding* the coal industry….

NAB’s 2022 Climate Report didn’t include any policy updates that would rule out refinancing a company like Whitehaven Coal. Importantly, their policies exclude project finance for new thermal coal projects, but still doesn’t rule out the companies building them. So, NAB can say (and do) that they’re not financing new thermal coal projects BUT still give money to Whitehaven Coal who *spoiler alert* only mine coal! NAB had a chance to update this policy in their climate report and didn't. 

NAB scores: 0 points

2. We asked NAB to commit to ending all forms of finance for all coal, oil and gas by 2030. 

In regards to NAB's target of 0 thermal coal exposure by 2030, the 2022 Climate Report said "Achieving this target will require a combination of existing thermal coal sector customers diversifying their operations, and reducing exposure to customers that are not transitioning their operations in line with NAB’s sector target." [1] So, in layman's terms they understand they either have to drop customers that aren’t diversifying (Whitehaven Coal is Australia’s largest pure-play coal company) OR work with existing customers, like Whitehaven Coal to diversify their company. Whitehaven Coal has no plans to diversify or transition, and therefore we agree with NAB and think they need to ‘reduce their exposure’ to Whitehaven Coal!

NAB scores: 0 points

3. We pointed out that Whitehaven Coal has no transition plan and asked NAB to immediately end the relationship, as Whitehaven plans to double coal production by 2030!

NAB’s 2022 Climate Report says, “Across its lending portfolio, the Group (i.e. NAB) will support the transition to net-zero by 2050 by: Considering selectively reducing exposure to high emitting clients that have been unable to demonstrate how they are aligned with the Group's sector targets."[2]

Whitehaven Coal is the biggest undiversified coal mining company on the Australian share market. Whitehaven has no substantive climate policy, no known intention to phase out coal and is in fact actively expanding its coal operations.  Any bank financing Whitehaven Coal is supporting Whitehaven’s expansion of the coal industry, at a time when we should be phasing out coal. It's time for some definitive action from NAB to rule out financing clients who have plans incompatible with NAB's targets. Once again, NAB had a chance to change this with the release of their 2022 Climate Report, but failed to do so.

NAB scores: 0 points.

Whilst we appreciate the email response from NAB’s sustainability team, we’d much prefer NAB to live up to their own climate promises and rule out all funding for Whitehaven Coal. Until then, our people-powered movement will be on the streets, in branches, at AGMs and HQs and sending more emails until NAB’s actions reflect their words.

Tell NAB Executives to stop financing coal!

[1] Pg. 28 NAB’s 2022 Climate Report
[2] Pg. 21 NAB’s 2022 Climate Report

Whitehaven Coal is one of Australia’s biggest thermal coal producers.

Whitehaven is planning to double its coal production with four major new coal projects. Just three of those mines would unleash almost 1.1 billion tonnes of carbon emissions.

The world’s scientists warn that all coal expansion must stop immediately to avoid runaway global heating. Whitehaven Coal is all about coal - the single biggest driver of the global climate crisis. Whitehaven Coal have no plans to reduce their Scope 3 emissions or reduce their exposure to thermal coal. Instead, they are digging in to the most damaging resource for our climate.

Alarmingly, Whitehaven Coal plans to double its coal production through four major new coal projects. When emissions from digging up and burning the coal are added, over their lifetimes just three of those mines would unleash almost 1.1 billion tonnes of carbon emissions, the equivalent of almost twice Australia’s total annual emissions. Whitehaven Coal also wants to explore a brand new coal deposit near Narrabri at Gorman North.

4th "Gorman North" project emissions not yet available. Data: Market Forces

The companies bankrolling Whitehaven are undermining global efforts to avoid catastrophic climate change and putting countless lives and livelihoods at risk. 

Global banks must rule out funding Whitehaven Coal’s disastrous coal expansion.

Banks funding Whitehaven

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Who’s funding Whitehaven’s coal expansion?

Whitehaven is funded by some of the world’s biggest financial institutions. These banks are enabling Whitehaven to accelerate global heating, destroy the environment and violate Aboriginal land rights.

Whitehaven needs about $2 billion to finance its new and expanded coal projects. Whitehaven's financiers must act responsibly to stop Whitehaven further accelerating the climate crisis by:

  1. Ruling out any direct or indirect finance for Whitehaven's new coal projects, and;
  2. Ruling out any further financial support for Whitehaven or any company expanding the production and use of coal.

Banks funding Whitehaven

The companies bankrolling Whitehaven are undermining global efforts to avoid catastrophic climate change and putting countless lives and livelihoods at risk.

Whitehaven Coal’s decade of incidents, fines and breaches of the law

Whitehaven are serial offenders who have repeatedly broken the law, with devastating consequences for water, the environment and local communities.

Whitehaven’s 4 existing open cut coal mines mines in the Namoi Valley in Northwestern NSW have cleared hundreds of hectares of the beloved and environmentally significant Leard State Forest, and had significant impacts on the local farming community with mine buy-outs, intolerable noise and dust pollution, and loss of stream flow in local creeks.

Local farmers, Traditional Owners, and conservationists have fought for over a decade to protect the cultural and environmental values of Leard Forest and the fertile lands and important water sources of the Namoi Valley, and to expose Whitehaven's illegal operations in the region.

Whitehaven have been found guilty or investigated 35 times and incurred almost $1.5 million in total penalties for offences that have included stealing 1 billion litres of water without a licence during the worst drought on record at the Maules Creek Coal mine, polluting waterways, and illegally clearing hundreds of hectares of endangered forest.

This rampant destruction will massively increase if Whitehaven’s new coal projects are allowed to proceed.

Lock The Gate’s Whitehaven Coal Shame File reveals the full extent of Whitehaven’s destructive and often illegal behaviour from 2012.

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So what are you waiting for?

Together, we can move Australia beyond coal!