New Zealand's largest coal miner shuts down, as coal industry struggles

coal emissions photo
CC BY-SA 2.0 Señor Codo

When I wrote about New Zealand shutting down its last remaining coal mines and aiming for 90% renewables within the decade, some commenters asked an important question:

Will the country continue to mine coal?

The answer, it seems, is maybe not. Or, more accurately, not as much as it once did. As reported over at The Guardian, the government-owned coal miner Solid Energy has announced it is entering managed bankruptcy, amid a crash in coal prices and increasing signs that the world may finally be getting serious about cutting coal use.

Meanwhile financial institutions are abandoning a proposed giant coal mine in Australia, and, according to Cleantechnica, rumors are afoot that Indian leaders may be mulling a stronger climate goal in preparation for the Paris climate talks.

Back in February, I wrote that the fossil fuel industry looked worried. If I was an executive or an investor in Big Coal, nothing I've seen since then—from the ongoing shutdowns of US coal plants to the fact that other fossil fuel interests and even coal mining unions have started to turn their backs on coal—would make me any less concerned.

At least China will continue to gobble up coal, right? Well, maybe not...

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