Criticism as govt scuppers IPC

IPC not to consider emissions when assessing mines

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Scathing criticism for government decision to change laws relating to mines.

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DEPUTY Premier John Barilaro on Tuesday announced a raft of changes to how planning decisions are made.

The Independent Planning Commission will no longer be allowed to consider Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions when considering mining projects.

The decision comes on the back of a very public campaign by the NSW Minerals Council to have the IPC reeled in after it refused consent for a coal mine in the Bylong Valley.

"The government has a very clear policy when it comes to the consideration of scope-three emissions and this will now be enshrined in legislation and through changes to the mining state environmental planning policy," Mr Barilaro said.

Lock the Gate NSW spokesperson Georgina Woods said of the changes: "The government is capitulating to mining industry pressure and winding back laws to address the most important strategic, economic and environmental challenge of our century," she said.

"This is a mistake that will be remembered for generations," she said.

The Nature Conservation Council also condemned the government's plans to forbid planning authorities considering the full climate impacts of coal mines and gas projects.

"The government is effectively banning planning bodies from considering the biggest environmental challenge of our age," NCC chief executive Chris Gambian said.

"The state government has capitulated to pressure from the minerals council, raising serious questions about who controls planning policy in NSW," he said.

Institute for Energy Economic and Financial Analysis spokesman Tim Buckley said the move flew in the face of the government's own policies and the 2016 Paris Agreement on greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance.

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