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A new report by Friends of the Earth International shows how Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) and coal chemical technologies threaten to destabilize the Earth’s climate and irreversibly damage local environments.
There is interest in and development of UCG in Europe, Russia, Canada, the US, China and India. It is currently under moratorium in Scotland. The report, titled “Fuelling the Fire: The chequered history of Underground Coal Gasification and Coal Chemicals around the world”, was launched on July 25 and presents case studies from several of these countries (see full report attached).
“UCG technology has left a trail of destruction in its wake wherever it’s been tried. All three UCG experiments in Australia have been environmental disasters. This experimental technology is linked to contamination from dangerous gases escaping into nearby soils and groundwater, surface subsidence, and produces toxic waste”, said Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth Australia Energy Campaigner, in the press release issued by Friends of the Earth International on July 25.
“The contamination from the Queensland UCG trial was so serious that farmers nearby aren’t even allowed to dig down more than two metres without permission. As a result of this project, the state government concluded it wasn’t worth the risk and has committed to completely banning the technology. We urge other countries and states to learn from these disastrous trials and stop the industry before it can do any more harm”.
Real World Radio interviewed Sara Shaw, co-coordinator of the Climate Justice and Energy Program of Friends of the Earth International to know more about the main concerns of the environmental federation about this technology.
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