Policy in Papua New Guinea
Were the Lae power station, and Mayur’s Gulf Province coal projects to be approved, it would give the thermal coal industry a foothold in PNG, and a pathway to the expansion of more coal extraction and combustion would be laid. If the company’s claims that the region contains as much as 210 MT of coal, then we could see a great deal more extracted and a great deal more CO2 released.
Moreover, PNG has set a target of its power being 100% renewable (carbon-free) in its power generation by 2030.
PNG also has an obligation to consider its relations with its close friends and allies in the region. Committing to the development of a coal industry through the mining and burning (or export) of coal would cause enormous damage to its relationships in the region.
Green-lighting a coal industry in PNG would send a signal to the world that if a member of the Pacific Island community of nations did not care enough about the plight of its neighbours to avoid stepping down a coal-driven emissions-intensive path,
Therefore, PNG government should do the following:
- ensure that PNG Power rejects the Mayur proposal for the proposed coal power station at Lae;
- commit to no longer give out any exploration or mining licenses for coal deposit in Gulf Province or elsewhere in PNG; and
- fully commit to developing PNG’s renewables sector, especially hydro, solar and biomass.