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Top Australian Coal Mines Are Spewing More Methane Than Rivals

  • Emissions in Bowen Basin region are 47% above global average
  • New data enables analysis of sector’s climate change impact
A coal train in the Clermont and Blackwater region, Queensland.
A coal train in the Clermont and Blackwater region, Queensland.Photographer: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

A key mining region in Australia, the world’s top exporter of metallurgical coal used in steelmaking, is producing vastly more methane emissions than global competitors, according to new analysis.

For every ton of coal produced in the Bowen Basin region in Queensland state, an average of 7.5 kilograms of the potent greenhouse gas is released, said Kayrros SAS, a geoanalytics firm that studied satellite observations from the European Space Agency. That’s 47% higher than the average global methane intensity estimated by the International Energy Agency, according to the company.