Community group takes fight against coal mine to United Nations

A central Queensland community group is taking its fight against a proposal for a coalmine on the banks of the Dawson River to the United Nations.

Save the Dawson, a group of farmers and traditional owners from central Queensland, have lodged a complaint with the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) against insurance company Liberty Mutual.

‘We write to you to lodge a formal complaint regarding serious violations of the Principles of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment by Liberty Mutual, a signatory of the UNPRI initiative, in relation to Liberty Mutual’s ongoing attempts to develop a wholly-owned proposed greenfield coal mine in Central Queensland,’ the written complaint says.

A central Queensland community group is taking its fight against a proposal for a coalmine on the banks of the Dawson River to the United Nations (stock image)

It says the proposed open-cut mine at Baralaba South, some 140km southwest of Rockhampton, is just 500 metres from the Dawson River and could contaminate drinking supplies as well as creating ‘400 million tonnes of additional carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of product coal’.

The UNPRI is a UN-backed responsible investment initiative with signatories holding more than $100 trillion of assets under management.

The complaint has been escalated to the board of the UNPRI which will make a final decision on Liberty Mutual’s expulsion from the initiative, according to anti fossil-fuel group Lock the Gate.

‘We don’t believe it is appropriate for Liberty Mutual to remain a signatory to the UNPRI while it progresses the Baralaba South coal mine,’ Save the Dawson’s Paul Stephenson said.

‘Liberty Mutual’s actions cast doubt on its genuine commitment to the Principles of Responsible Investment. This opens up serious questions about signatories’ engagement in greenwashing via the PRI initiative.’

Liberty Mutual have been contacted for comment and were not immediately available.

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