Protesters call for the coal industry to foot the bill for flood clean-up

A group of concerned citizens protested outside the BHP office in Melbourne today, and presented the coal industry with a giant invoice for part of the cost of the unprecedented floods in Victoria and Queensland.

Spokesperson for the group Pablo Brait said, ”we’re presenting this invoice to the entire coal industry on behalf of the Australian taxpayer, charging them for part of the flood clean-up and the increased insurance costs all Australians will have to pay due to the impacts of global warming.”

“Scientists have been telling us for 25 years that our greenhouse gas emissions are increasing the incidence of extreme weather events such as floods, bushfires and drought. We are seeing this here in Australia and all over the world.”

“BHP is Australia’s largest coal miner and coal is our biggest source of carbon pollution. If we are going to avoid ever worsening disasters like severe bushfires and floods, then we need to urgently shift from antiquated and polluting coal energy to clean renewable energy sources.”

According to both surface and satellite measurements the year 2010 was the equal hottest and the wettest on record worldwide. The last decade was the hottest decade ever recorded. A report released by the Queensland Government in November 2010, the Inland Flood Study concluded that as the Earth warms, flood risk in QLD grows too.

“Our political leaders express their concern over the victims of the floods, and yet they continue to support the expansion of the coal power and coal export industries. This disgusting hypocrisy condemns more lives in future disasters and shows contempt for the victims of the floods.”

“How many more people need to lose their lives and homes before the state and federal governments stand up to the coal industry?”

“How much economic damage must the Australian economy sustain before the fossil fuel sector stops campaigning against action on climate change?”

“Shifting out of fossil fuels will save lives and help shield our economy from further shocks.” Mr Brait concluded.