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The Australian state of Queensland could become the seventh largest contributor of greenhouse gases on the planet, behind only China, the USA, India, Russia, Japan, and Germany, if plans to create nine mega coal mines come to fruition.
Greenpeace Australia carried out an analysis of the proposed mines and found that they would release an extra 705 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, ruining any international efforts to keep global warming down below 2 degrees Celsius. In fact the emissions would likely contribute heavily to a 6 degree rise in temperatures, which the International Energy Agency has described as catastrophic.
According to the Greenpeace report the mines will actually only be completely developed and operate at full capacity if global demand for coal continues to grow strongly. So the fate of the climate still rests in the hands of the world, and not just Australia.
There are also worries that the Great Barrier Reef will be damaged due to increased shipping off the coast of Queensland, and also from coral bleaching as a result of increasing sea temperatures. The UN has already released a warning this year about the destruction to the Great Barrier Reef due to heavy development along the entire Queensland coast.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com