AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Coal producers go green after Beattie’s big backflip

<p>Queensland premier Peter Beattie’s pressure on mining companies to meet their environmental responsibilities seems to have worked, after separate plans were unveiled by BP, Rio Tinto and coal producers yesterday (Thursday, May 17).</p> <p>Mr Beattie said coal producers had agreed to a voluntary levy of 20 cents for every tonne sold.</p> <p>The levy would be introduced from July 1 and would contribute towards a $600m coal industry pledge over the next 10 years. </p> <p>"This commitment ensures Queensland is right at the forefront of the global effort to slash carbon emissions,&#8221 Mr Beattie said.</p> <p>It will also help protect the long term interests of the state’s $18bn-a-year coal industry and secure its future electricity supply.&#8221 </p> <p>Only last week Mr Beattie had refused to back down from a plan to force coal companies to pay bigger royalties to the State Government to create a $300m clean-coal fund.</p> <p>"No, I’m past that stage,&#8221 Mr Beattie said when asked about allowing coal producers more time to support a voluntary scheme.</p> <p>Meanwhile, BP and Rio Tinto said they would form Hydrogen Energy, a joint-venture that would develop decarbonise energy projects around the world.</p> <p>The venture will focus on hydrogren-fuel power and the storage and capture of fossil fuels and carbon emissions.</p> <p>Rio will pay $32m to BP to begin the equal joint-venture, which will be based in England.</p> <br />