Grant Howard

Mine Worker, Mackay, QLD

Published 5th October 2021

I'm a coal miner and I've been in the industry for 40 years. About three years ago, I sort of woke up.

I understood we have severely impacted our climate, and we need to do something about it. I live in a mining community where coal mining is a big part of our community, and a significant industry for us. But my view on climate change is quite simple: we've severely impacted our climate by unearthing fossil fuel and burning it, and by destroying natural carbon sinks like forests and other ecosystems.

Action on climate change means having a plan. And the obvious place to start is no new thermal coal mines. Thermal coal represents [a big part] of the problem and we have the technology now to replace thermal coal. There should be a clear focus on that and there should be a clear and emphatic statement on that.

"Action on climate change also looks like honesty. Being honest with people, honest with mine workers [and] honest with communities."

Grant Howard

Mine Worker, Mackay, QLD

Action on climate change means having a plan.

And the obvious place to start is no new thermal coal mines. Thermal coal represents [a big part] of the problem and we have the technology now to replace thermal coal. There should be a clear focus on that and there should be a clear and emphatic statement on that.

The best thing that we can do is be honest with mine workers and at the moment, we're not. There is no clear statement from the government about climate change and so for me, you know, I'm a mine worker, and I'm confident that mine workers have a degree of dexterity, and they're capable people and if they know the truth they can plan and respond in their own way, to however that future unfolds.

I've got a lot of confidence in mine workers and communities that they can find their own solutions to these challenges.

Regardless of who you are — a mine worker or any other industry in our community — we all need to work together to effect change, for a more sustainable future with a renewable power supply. And we need to do that collectively.

I see a future without a smokestack. A future where we have a more stable climate. A future where we're not just digging holes in the ground, with industries which are sustainable, and engaged communities. That's the future that I see.

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