Australians race to stop Adani coal mine and clean up after Cyclone Debbie


As Australians clean up the billions of dollars worth of damage from Cyclone Debbie, an unprecedented campaign of resistance is gearing up in Australia to stop Indian coal giant Adani’s proposed Carmichael Mine in Queensland, which would be one of the world’s largest coal mines but is struggling to find private financial backers. The Australian government’s propensity to favour coal over any other energy source is at odds with the rise of renewables across the country, where huge battery storage tenders are getting swamped with interest, and a major coal-fired power station recently shut down. Rising sea levels, heatwaves, more intense cyclones and increased rain intensity are the kinds of climate impacts Australia, and the world, are witnessing due to the burning of coal from mines like the proposed Carmichael project – but Australian politicians have yet to join the dots.


Key Points

  • The coal-obsessed Australian government is pulling out all the stops, no matter the cost, to support Adani’s plans for the world’s largest coal mine. The government is contemplating loaning the multinational firm $1billion in public funds to support the coal project despite concerns that major financial institutions see the venture as too risky and the money may be channeled into a tax haven. Already the government has granted Adani uncapped access to water for 60 years to the horror of farmers downstream, and new documents show the firm now wants to build a huge dam next to the mine. Ministers argue the Carmichael mine coal will produce less carbon pollution in India than coal from elsewhere, and continue to argue that coal will help lift the poor out of poverty in India – but these industry talking points are widely known to be fake.
  • There is a surge in resistance to ‘Stop Adani’ coal plans in Australia spearheaded by 13 organisations that are targeting banks and funders, holding film screenings, and planning a series of large mobilisation trainings across the country. Coal projects in Australia also face resistance from the real economy as the renewable energy industry takes off – even Adani is setting up major solar projects in the same state it is planning the mine. Victoria and South Australia are out-competing each other in the race to install massive battery storage installations, and Western Australia’s state-owned energy company is working to create microgrids and distribution generation across the state. Coal is on the wane globally, yet the Australian Government appears deaf to any arguments against it.






  • “In recent years, customers and shareholders have questioned the hypocrisy of financing the expansion of the fossil fuel industry after committing to support the goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees. It also hasn’t helped that after four years of asking, Westpac has failed to make a clear public statement about whether or not it would finance Carmichael.” – Market Forces Executive Director Julien Vincent.
  • “The fight to stop the biggest coal mine in Australia’s history is the fight of our time. If Adani’s mine goes ahead, it will be catastrophic for our climate. It will trash the already besieged Great Barrier Reef, lead to more droughts and severe weather, and will cause dramatic sea level rises that will re-make the world as we currently know it.” – Australia CEO Blair Palese. 
  • “The Carmichael mine cannot be financed without public subsidies and it is farcical that the coal industry, which has been around for 100 years, is seeking subsidies from the taxpayer,” – Analyst, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Tim Buckley.

Categories: Alerts, Australia