Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Australia - China Coal Deal

I know this is sort of old news, but Australia and China struck up a pretty large coal deal for 30 million tons of coal over the next 20 years (a total of $60B). The two companies involved were Australia's Resourcehouse and China Power International Development. A recent article regarding environmental activists response was posted in NY Times today.

The article assumes coal must contribute to growth in carbon emissions, and does not spend much time talking about potential technological changes that could allow for coal to be burnt without carbon implications.

Some highlights:

Does the Huge China-Australia Coal Deal Square With the Copenhagen Accord?

Bradley Smith, spokesman for Friends of the Earth in Queensland, Australia, said it "drives another nail into the coffin of climate change. If the project goes ahead, then emissions from the exported coal would equal 20 percent of Australia's total domestic emissions."

"It's always been something of an anomaly for us that while they are talking about an emissions trading system domestically, they are rapidly expanding their coal exporting," Woods said. But, she added, "It's something that's difficult for us to tackle because it's been so integral to Australia's economic identity for so long."

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