With news that the start of the Adani Carmichael coal mine and rail project is imminent, miners, politicians and environmentalists alike, are scrambling to have their way.
Adani has announced it will proceed with its mega coal mine in the Galilee Basin and will reportedly self-finance its mine, after failing to secure finance from any Australian or international banks.
‘Adani now says it will self-fund the mega-mine,’ said Climate Council CEO, Amanda McKenzie. ‘The company made the announcement on a day when large parts of Queensland are burning and when the state is experiencing drought made worse by climate change,’
Ms McKenzie says that Adani has put the ball firmly in the court of the major political parties. ‘Do they support a coal mine that is fundamentally at odds with protecting Australia from the worst impacts of climate change?’
‘Adani Mining CEO Lucas Dow claimed today that the project stacks up environmentally. This is ludicrous. In the face of intensifying climate change, no new fossil fuel project stacks up,’ she said.
Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) spokesperson Imogen Zethoven says it defies belief that Adani is hell bent on pushing ahead. ‘This is a climate-wrecking mine,’ she said. ‘Queensland is experiencing record breaking heatwaves, bushfires are burning across the state and our beautiful Reef could suffer another major bleaching event this summer.
‘The world’s climate scientists have made it abundantly clear that to save our Great Barrier Reef we must have no new coal mines and shut all coal plants by 2030.
‘The Morrison Government and the Labor Opposition must stop this dirty coal mine, which will accelerate dangerous climate change and risk a safe future for Australia.’
Climate Council’s Head of Research, Dr Martin Rice says the project has the potential to be a carbon bomb. ‘If all of the Galilee Basin coal was burned, it is estimated that 705 million tonnes of carbon dioxide would be released each year – that’s more than 1.3 times Australia’s current annual emissions.’
‘Coal is a risky business. Company directors who do not properly consider climate change-related risks may be held legally liable for breaching their duty of care,’ says Dr Rice.
‘The most pressing challenge Australia faces is how to phase out existing coal mines well before their reserves are exhausted. We simply cannot open any new mines,’ he said.
‘The development of the Carmichael coal mine and the Galilee Basin also threatens the Great Barrier Reef. We should be protecting the reef and Queensland’s tourism industry, rather than opening new coal mines.’