Best Practice Checklist for Greenhouse Gas Abatement by NSW Coal Mines Study

28 June 2024

Re: Public Response to the Guardian News Article from 27 June 2024


The Guardian online news portal has published an article today titled ‘NSW government accused by critics of using ‘fatally compromised’ emissions report.


The article refers to a report prepared by Katestone, commissioned by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (NSW DPE), named ‘Best Practice Checklist for Greenhouse Gas Abatement by NSW Coal Mines’ delivered in May 2023.

The Guardian’s article takes aspects of Katestone’s report out of context, in particular, the following sentence from the introduction: “It is generally accepted that the original Paris treaty goal of keeping mean global temperature change at or below 2.0C (and preferably 1.5C) compared to preindustrial levels (1800s) will not be met.”


The Guardian article quotes Georgina Woods as saying the report is “fatally compromised” as it “starts by discarding the climate change goals the NSW government is legally bound to achieve”.


Katestone disagrees with this characterization. Katestone’s report has not “discarded climate change goals”. The sentence that is cited in the article regarding the Paris treaty goal is part of a series of paragraphs in the report’s introduction that provide background to the relevant issues. The introduction of the report goes on to discuss the NSW Government’s commitment to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions under the Net Zero Plan. Katestone’s report and checklist have, therefore, been developed with direct consideration of the context of the NSW Government’s stated commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and aim to achieve best practice abatement of greenhouse gases.


The report was commissioned by the NSW DPE. The study and its checklist are used as a benchmark so that the NSW DPE can determine the adequacy of Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Management Plans (AQGHGMP) that are required to be submitted by operating coal mines. The checklist aims to ensure that coal mines are implementing best practice measures to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. NSW DPE will require improvements to be made to the plan if it is found to not conform to best practice.


Katestone developed the checklist through its technical review and evaluation of best practice methods for GHG emissions reduction and abatement in the coal mining sector. The report acknowledges where challenges still lie.


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