Sunday 31 May 2015

Good news! The largest sovereign wealth fund in the world has just agreed to divest from coal

In what is set to be the largest divestment from fossil fuels ever made, the Norwegian parliament has issued a unanimous recommendation to divest its country’s sovereign wealth fund from the coal industry. This happened just hours after a coalition of groups delivered nearly 50 000 signatures and thousands Tweeted for Norway to divest.

As global climate group says: 
Norway's parliament agrees to divest its $900 billion oil fund from coal. This is the largest fund to make a divestment – ever. The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global is not only the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund; it is also one of the top ten investors in the global coal industry. This recommendation asks the government to exclude companies deriving more than 30% of their revenues or their power production from coal. With all parties endorsing the recommendation, it’s widely expected to be formally adopted by parliamentary vote on June 5. expects that Norway’s Pension Fund investments in companies like Germany’s RWE, China’s Shenhua, Duke Energy from the Unites States, Australia’s AGL Energy, Reliance Power from India, Japan’s Electric Power Development Corporation, Semirara Mining from the Philippines and Poland’s PGE will, for example, all be shed. Read more about it here

For some more background, Greenpeace Norway, German environmental organisation urgewald and Norwegian group Framtiden i vĂ¥re hender have also co-published a report on Norway's divestment: 'Still dirty, still dangerous'.

(The Guardian newspaper, however, has a more sobering take on the news, saying ‘World’s richest sovereign wealth fund increased its investments in coal despite high-profile pledge to dump fossil fuels, financial analysis shows’. You can read the full article: 'Norway's sovereign wealth fund accused of “pretend divestment”’ here.)

Centennial to drill four test sites in 2015

Centennial has received a budget to drill four sites in in the 'inglenook' exploration area in 2015.

These sites are still to be determined, which means Centennial will be approaching at least four landholders to sign an access agreement.

Should you be approached and want some clarification on your rights and the correct procedure, please contact the RSWUA committee at

Below are some notes from Centennial's presentation to the last CCC, in March 2015.

Company update:
• The coal industry is continuing to experience a significant downturn in the international coal market.
• Restructures in the Northern and Western region have been implemented and redeployment has been used to minimise retrenchments.
• Angus Place mine has moved to care and maintenance as from 28 March.

Project update:
• No exploration drilling since the last CCC meeting.
• Exploration License (EL) Renewal documentation submitted for EL7431, EL7432 and EL7442.
• Surface water and groundwater monitoring undertaken quarterly under existing agreements. Incidents: Nil.

Activities for 2015
• Limited Exploration drilling planned for 2015 (in fact, 4 sites have now been approved, as noted above).
• Exploration drilling budget for 2015 yet to be approved. If approved the CCC will be notified (this has been done: 4 sites).
• Ongoing access agreement negotiations for environmental monitoring and drilling activities.
• Continuation of surface water and groundwater monitoring.
• Ongoing flora surveys.

Monday 4 May 2015

News from Bylong Valley Protection Alliance

BVPA's Craig Shaw has let us know that ABC’s Australian Story will feature Bylong property Tarwyn Park in this evening’s program, titled “The Battle for Tarwyn Park”. The iconic property has been described as being of national significance, and was recently (by all accounts reluctantly) sold to mining company Kepco.

There has been quite a bit of media coverage about Tarwyn Park and Bylong in recent days:

  • There is a story about Tarwyn Park in Saturday’s Newcastle Herald.
  •  And a report in ABC news today in which a University of Newcastle study calls for Tarwyn’s heritage listing. 
  •  A couple of weeks ago Premier Baird was invited to visit Bylong, meet the locals and have a guided tour of Tarwyn, hosted by owner Stuart Andrews. The response from his office was that he was too busy. The invite and the “no thanks” generated a bit of media interest, given the Premier’s commitment to become an “expert” in mining issues and his visit to Bulga:

If you feel like writing a short note to the Premier saying you think he should reconsider and visit Tarwyn after all, it’s very easy to leave a message via his contact form, or you can write to him at GPO Box 5341, Sydney 2001, or phone him on 02 8574 5000.