A coalition of research, advocacy and legal organisations published a briefing paper today welcoming Papua New Guinea’s strong stance on climate action, but urged the government to back its goals with concrete steps to achieve them.
In a briefing paper outlining the country’s progress towards its climate targets, the Nogat Coal alliance ‒ made up of PNG’s Nogat Coal and the Center for Environmental Law and Community Rights, and Jubilee Australia Research Centre ‒ acknowledged the government’s work in creating plans to mitigate the impact of climate change on its citizens.
“PNG is highly susceptible to the effects of climate change. It’s prone to natural disasters which are forecast to become more frequent and deadly as time goes on,” the Nogat Coal alliance wrote.
“People in the highlands are already having to contend with worsening floods, droughts and landslides… On the country’s coasts and low-lying islands, half a million residents are exposed to flooding and sea level rise.
“PNG has been quick in setting official targets for climate action because it recognises the grave impact that climate change will continue to have on its people and the planet.
“What is still unclear is whether the government will back its words with meaningful action.”
The alliance warned that PNG’s plans for fossil fuel projects including Papua LNG, PNG LNG, P’nyang, Pasca A and a coal-fired power station in Lae would cause major setbacks to achieving the nation’s energy targets if they proceed.
“All of these proposals coincide with a global market trend away from the risk of stranded fossil fuel assets… that are unlikely to yield an economic return,” they wrote, adding that countries are “moving to renewable energy sources at an unprecedented rate, reducing the demand for fossil fuels”.
“The PNG government should immediately implement a ban on coal mining and coal-fired power for the grid and any other power generation.”
The Nogat Coal alliance consists of:
Nogat Coal—an advocacy group trying to keep coal out of Papua New Guinea. It has access to NGOs, the business community, think tanks, academia and key public figures in PNG.
Center for Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCOR)—a not-for-profit PNG public interest environmental law firm, which gives legal help to landowners and community-based organisations. It also conducts policy research and advocates for environmental justice.
Jubilee Australia Research Centre—an Australian not-for-profit organisation engaging in research and advocacy to promote economic justice for communities in the Asia-Pacific region and accountability for Australian corporations and government agencies operating there.