COAL is a cheap hydrocarbon fuel and can be used in the production of goods and services, such as electricity.
However, this cheap hydrocarbon fuel is also the No.1 cause of environmental pollution and other issues.
Coal mining and its use in Papua New Guinea should be banned.
The following direct and indirect costs of coal use support the ban.
- Coal is an unsustainable source of energy and it cannot be replaced once it has been used;
- carbon emissions from mine blasts and machinery used in mining coal will cause irreparable environmental damage;
- environmental damage and carbon and heat emissions from coal mining and the industrial use of coal will contribute to global warming and exacerbate the problems we are facing with adverse weather conditions and rising sea levels globally;
- adverse weather conditions damage roads and highways which are expensive to build, repair and maintain. They also cause major traffic delays at sea ports and airports affecting international trade and the movement of people locally and internationally;
- adverse weather conditions are causing extensive damage to food gardens and cities and towns, as well as dislocating residents of cities, towns and villages, causing hardship and inconvenience;
- it is costly to provide assistance to people affected by natural disasters, which are being made worse by global warming;
- coal mining will result in the loss of the value of forests to local communities because when communities lose their forests they also lose food, shelter, and other things they depend on as people of the land; and,
- Smog produced from the industrial use of coal in cities will increase respiratory and lung problems. Of course, the medical cost of treating the diseases is another consideration against the use of coal. PNG has so much natural resources that can be harnessed to produce cheaper, dependable and clean electricity. Coal is not one of them.