Because of the natural reserves found all over Australia, coal represents an important energy generator for this continent. Except from exporting the coal to different countries, Australia uses 0.5% of the energy given by this product.
It is a well-known fact that coal contributes to greenhouse effects, and by its use, future climate changes are bound to accelerate. Coal, belongs to the carbon group and once the coal is ignited, it will release tons of pollutants into the atmosphere, harmful for the environment, as well as for humans.
Coal and Economy
It is very unlikely for Australia to give up this resource. In 2008, the country had 39.6 Gigatonnes of black coal, and 37.3Gt of brown coal. It was estimated that these reserves were enough to sustain production for 500 years.
The exports value for coal comes around to $22 billion, while Australia is utilizing about 30% of the total global coal trade. In world consumption, the country is responsible for 4.6%, thus the obvious needs to be stated: Australia’s pollution with coal extends far beyond the borders of its country.
Large investments, in the form of infrastructure development, have been started in order to purify the air after the use of coal. In 2008 alone, nearly $1 billion was invested in a project known as Coal 21 Fund, which was suppose to prevent CO2 from reaching the atmosphere in large quantities.
In terms of energy production and consumption, we see that Australia uses 53% energy resulted from coal, and produces about 2% of renewable energy. Also, the country produces only 5% of this green energy, while oil and coal is over-utilized, which is bound to lead to a crisis down the line.
Future, Pollution and Australia
Regarding the matter of coal pollution, the Australian government does not seem to have undertaken any effective measures so far. And this is because of its value to the community, to coal-mining regions and to the economy of Australia. A delicate balance of all issues may in fact be required to come to some solutions that are good for the environment and respecting ot the mining industry.
Authorities estimate that future coal production and consumption, at least on Australian mainland, will increase by 50%. According to extremists, such matters will negate any investments undertaken to protect the environment and in addition, this issue if unchecked will lead to:
- Climate change
- Many species will not be able to adapt, and thus will disappear
- New habitats will be formed affecting the countries natural trade
- The sea line will continue to progress as the sea levels will keep rising
- Agriculture will be difficult to practice
- Acid rains, as a result of the combination of greenhouse gases relished by coals, will be capable of destroying massive agricultural production
- The soil will become polluted, and thus plants will be very unlikely to grow
- Many species of vegetables or fruits will not be able to develop
But perhaps a process of arbitration and working together can be fostered and developed between green groups and the coal industry. Let’s hope solutions are not too far off.
Envirosafe Solutions supports a sustainable shift towards a green future and believes both mining and green groups can work together to achieve the best outcomes for the nation and the economy. Phone Envirosafe Solutions to source their eco-friendly Extreme Green range 1300 889070