Mines and Communities launches a global Special Report
Is our planet going up in smoke?
From: Mines and Communities, London
1 September 2010
Prospects are now dwindling that a binding Climate Change treaty will be agreed in Mexico later this year. But the science is no longer in any serious doubt. Fossil fuels, used to generate power, are the major contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions – and coal is the largest single culprit.
Yet many states now plan to deepen their dependency on coal, while the social and environmental impacts of mining it receive much less attention – even from climate change activists – than the consequences of burning it.
For nearly a decade the Mines and Communities(MAC) network has addressed the  social, environmental and human rights consequences of global mineral extraction.
This week, MAC publishes Dark Materials, an in-depth piece of research that exposes the cold facts behind the coal figures.
The report concludes that :
    * Projections of future coal demand are often at variance with each other.   As yet there is little sign of an imminent rush to massive new production. But, while demand has flattened in some countries, reliance on coal  is accelerating in others.
    * The Asia-Pacific region provides the critical market for exported coal. Despite their own significant coal reserves, India and China are likely to become the biggest importers.
    * Indonesia is the world’s largest exporter of steam coal. Predominantly located in tropical forests, Indonesian mines are among the most damaging and least regulated anywhere.
    * Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)  is severely flawed as a technology to reduce global greenhouse emissions created by burning coal. Even if this were not the case, the good health of our planet and its inhabitants requires a drastic reduction in coal use over the next ten years.  
    * The employment and food security of millions of people are currently linked to coal mining and carbon-fuelled electricity. Nonetheless, the creation of more sustainable livelihoods is possible – so long as there is the will to do so.
Content of Dark Materials:
* A summary of coal types, end-uses, in-country reserves, global consumption and exports
* An assessment of the social, environmental consequences of mining coal
* A scrutiny of coal-related policies in key exporting countries
* A rundown on the world’s leading private and public coal mining companies – and what they plan for the near-future
* A discussion of the relationship between Indonesia, the world’s biggest coal exporter, and India as Indonesia’s most important customer.
Dark Materials is published in advance of the October 2010“Deadly Coal” tour of Europe by two leading Indonesian mining critics. This initiative is organised by JATAM (Jakarta) with the UK-based Down To Earth (DTE – the International Campaign for Ecological Justice in Indonesia) in coordination with several  European non-governmental organisations.
* Dark Material, the full report, is available on-line (in  html and pdf formats) at:  http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=10299
For further information, please email: info@minesandcommunities.org
To know more about the “Deadly Coal” campaign, please email:  dte@gn.apc.org