Civil society groups in Australia and Japan have teamed up to release a new report that examines the damage caused by coal mining in Australia and coal consumption in Japan, highlighting the costs of Japan’s dependence Australian coal.
Australian Conservation Foundation, Australia Institute and Japan’s leading climate organization Kiko Network report highlights impacts on climate, human health, ecosystems and wildlife habitats resulting from the use of Australian coal by Japan.
- Japan is the world’s fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Over 60% of the coal it burns is imported from Australia. Australian coal burned in Japan produces around 490 million tonnes of greenhouse gases per year that contribute to global climate change.
- Japan is Australia’s largest coal customer. Japan’s demand for coal is a key factor in the expansion of coal mining and the Australian coal export industry.
- In recent years, the expansion of Australian coal mines has affected the Great Barrier Reef, critically endangered animal species, forests (including koala habitats), rivers, farms, rural communities , human health and First Nations rights.
- Burning Australian coal contributes to poor air quality in Japanese cities. It is estimated that at least 60,000 premature deaths occur each year from air pollution in Japan.
- Japanese companies have stakes in many coal mines in Australia, including some of the country’s most controversial mines.
Gavan McFadzean from the Australian Conservation Foundation said:
“This report sheds light on the true costs of Australia’s coal trade with Japan – on koala habitats, water resources, human health, rural communities and First Nations rights.”
Kimiko Hirata of Kiko Network said:
“Japan relies heavily on coal, but the Japanese hardly know the impacts Australia has suffered from our coal consumption. We must end the use of coal-fired energy by 2030, not only for the climate, but also for nature and the people of Australia.
Richie Merzian, Climate and Energy Program Director at the Australia Institute, said:
“Australia is the world’s third largest exporter of fossil fuels, but the government is only interested in further expanding its coal and gas exports to the region. As a result, both Japan and Australia suffer more climate damage. Emissions in Japan from the burning of Australian coal are roughly equivalent to all the climate pollution emitted in Australia each year. “
The groups, which call on Australia and Japan to phase out their coal trade by 2030, will use the new report to raise awareness as part of their advocacy for a shift from dependence on coal and from high-risk nuclear power to a sustainable future. based on clean and safe renewable energy sources.