Application Exercise 8x: Environmental effect of some exports
- Identify the main issue causing concern in the case of the proposed Adani coal mine in the Galilee Basin of Queensland.
Opponents of the mine say that the environmental damage of both the shipping and burning of the coal is too high.
- Explain how coal mining could contribute to:
a. Australia’s economy
The Federal Government Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics predicts that Australia’s energy exports will almost double over the next 25 years, with most of this increase coming from increased coal exports, and some from exports of gas.
b. The local Queensland economy
Mining will contribute to job creation directly through the construction of the mine and then its operation, along with related jobs in support services, transport and the shipping of the coal to its overseas destination.
c. Environmental damage
When coal is burnt, it realises CO2 into the atmosphere, further contributing to global warming and climate change. More directly, there is a risk of the direct effect of exporting the coal by shipping it through the Great Barrier Reef.
- Defenders of Australia’s coal mining industry have stated that it is unfair for consumers in rich countries like Australia to oppose the export of coal that can help to provide cheap energy for those living in poverty in developing countries like India and China. Consider the different perspectives in this debate and come to your own conclusion. Use evidence to justify your
Responses will depend on students’ choices and opinions.