"Glencore’s Australian Coal Mine Revealed As Methane Super-Emitter"

"Just inland of Australia’s east coast, roughly 200 miles from the Great Barrier Reef, a single coal mine run by Glencore Plc emitted so much super-warming methane in a year that it had the same climate warming impact as the annual pollution from more than 4 million U.S. cars.

The Hail Creek coal mine leaked an estimated 230,000 tons of methane a year in 2018 and 2019, according to researchers with SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, who analyzed satellite data from the European Space Agency. Because methane traps over 80 times more heat than carbon dioxide in its first two decades in the atmosphere, the mine had the same short-term warming impact as roughly 19 million tons of CO2 a year.

The report is one of the first efforts by researchers to quantify just how much methane is coming from individual mines in Australia. Coal itself produces the most CO2 emissions out of all fossil fuels and nearly 200 countries have agreed on the need to reduce its use to avoid the worst effects of climate change. The new study shows that there’s an added danger: disastrous amounts of methane emitted during the mining process."

Aaron Clark reports for Bloomberg News November 29, 2021.

Source: Bloomberg, 12/01/2021