KEPCO's proposed Bylong Coal project is said to be out of step with policies of the ruling party of South Korea, which this month announced their 'Green New Deal' manifesto with the goal of becoming a carbon zero society by 2050.
The energy company's planned Bylong mine is to extract thermal coal for use in South Korea. And they are challenging the decision by the Independent Planning Commission to reject the project due to its impact on agriculture, underground water, and climate change.
Last week South Korea's Liberal Party announced its environmental platform for the upcoming general election, the Green New Deal Act, which includes discontinuation of coal project financing and introduction of a carbon tax.
As the current ruling party seeks to take the country - which is one of the top seven CO2 emitters in the world - to net zero emissions by the middle of the century.
Earlier this year, KEPCO's South Korean parent company announced it had written off the project and reduced the value of land it had acquired in the valley for the coal mine to zero.
Bylong Valley Protection Alliance spokesperson, Phillip Kennedy, said the company's Australian arm should withdraw its legal challenge in the the Land and Environment Court and abandon its plans for the mine.
"We have been dealing with the uncertainty surrounding this project for long enough," he said.
"KEPCO should pack up and leave. The IPC ruled the Bylong Valley was too important to be sacrificed to a filthy big coal mine.
"If it went ahead, the project would mine 120m tonnes of coal over 25 years - this is utterly inconsistent with the South Korean ruling party's new policy.
"It's clear the South Korean parent company has read the writing on the wall, so why does the Australian arm of KEPCO continue to inflict distress upon local landholders?"
In their official statement, the company said, "the Bylong Coal Project has been listed for a judicial hearing challenge in the Land and Environment Court and as such it is not appropriate for KEPCO to comment on this matter".
In 2018 KEPCO Bylong Australia chief operating officer Bill Vatovec, on the subject of renewables, said that South Korea is in a "a transitional period" that could encompass the life of the project.
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