Newcastle calls for cap on coal exportsadmin
Newcastle City Council has called on the NSW government to cap coal exports through the city’s port at present levels to fight climate change.
In a vote on Tuesday night, the council also called for an inquiry into coal mining, a coal export levy, mandatory renewable energy targets, and improved public transport and cycling infrastructure.
The Port of Newcastle is the world’s largest coal-exporting port.
Greens councillor Michael Osborne, who moved the proposal, hailed the council’s courage and foresight.
“This decision should serve as a big wake-up call to both state and federal governments to get serious about climate change and to initiate a just transition towards sustainable energy,” Mr Osborne said.
The decision came at a significant time, with the NSW government considering a major expansion of the Hunter coal industry and the public spotlight on the federal government’s climate change policy.
Mr Osborne said the recent Stern Report showed increasing coal exports did not make economic sense.
The environmental and social cost of each tonne of coal exported through Newcastle was $264, he said, far in excess of the market price.
“The local voice is now loud and clear,” Mr Osborne said.
“The ball is now very much in the court of the state and federal governments to act.”