Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Liberty Mutual as part of its new climate policy has pulled their support for the enormous Adani Carmichael coal project, but has decided to maintain support for a new metallurgical coal mine wholly owned by themselves, because it “provides hundreds of jobs”.
Liberty Mutual pulls support for Adani over climate change but pushes ahead with its Baralaba South mine
US insurance giant Liberty Mutual has withdrawn support for the Adani Carmichael mine after introducing a climate change policy but is pushing ahead with a greenfield coal mine in central Queensland.
The company wholly owns the Baralaba South project, a proposed open-cut mine on a flood plain just 500 metres from the Dawson River and 120 kilometres south-west of Rockhampton.
Liberty Mutual Insurance spokesperson Glenn Greenberg said the company recognised the risk of climate change to the planet and was taking action to reduce carbon emissions.
“Coal mines are a very small part of our overall investment portfolio, and we have since made the strategic decision over a year ago to make no new additional direct investments in the industry,” Mr Greenberg said.
It is continuing with plans to develop it Baralaba South project and submitted its environmental impact statement in January and has been granted an extension until December to make amendments.
“The Baralaba metallurgical coal mine provides hundreds of jobs in rural Queensland, and the environmental impact study for the South mine is expected to be submitted to the Government by the end of the year,” Mr Greenberg said.
Paul Stephenson’s family has farmed near Baralaba for several generations, and he called Liberty Mutual’s stance “completely nuts”.
“It’s a little strange for a company to come out and say it’s inappropriate to insure aspects of the Adani Carmichael mine due to climate change, yet at the same time propose to build a whole new, 100 per cent-owned coal mine in the same region,” Mr Stephenson said.
…Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-30/liberty-mutual-pulls-support-from-adani/12389164
I’m glad Liberty’s concerns about rural jobs trumps their climate ideals, at least when they own the coal mine.
Perhaps the plan is as owners they can ensure all that metallurgical coal from their new mine is used exclusively for green projects, like smelting vast tonnages of steel reinforcing members for concrete wind turbine bases.