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.
- 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.
- The Carmichael mine protests are building up at a time when the Great Barrier Reef is beginning to experience its fourth major coral bleaching event, alarming scientists, who confirm the bleaching is caused by heat stress from waters warmed by global warming. The mine would place extra stress on the reef, as coal export shipments through the reef would rise dramatically. Australia’s Queensland coast is currently cleaning up from floods causing billions of dollars worth of damage in the wake of Category 4 Cyclone Debbie that ploughed through the state late last month. Debbie is still causing flooding in Australia, where there are now warnings of price hikes and fresh food shortages. Downgraded to a tropical storm, Debbie is now causing mayhem across the Tasman in New Zealand.
- ‘High and dry’: Adani seeks additional surface water to feed giant coal mine (Fairfax)
- Coal’s dirty Australian secret? It’s not coming back (Bloomberg)
- Adani bets on Australian solar as coal battle looms (Financial Times)
- Lyon Group announces $1b battery and solar farm for South Australia’s Riverland (ABC)
- Adani coal would not cut emissions – IEA expert (Climate Home)
- Adani facing growing pressure on fears investors may have been misled (ABC)
- ‘Barbaric’: Farmers rattled as Adani coal mine granted unlimited water access (Sydney Morning Herald)
- Adani’s Carmichael coal mine is environmentally reckless and contrary to today’s energy markets (SMH)
- How Horizon Power plans to remove world’s biggest fossil fuel subsidy (Renew Economy)
- Storage boom: Victoria outstrips South Australia tender with 100+ proposals (Renew Economy)
- Tropical Cyclone Debbie has blown a hole in the winter vegetable supply (The Conversation)
- Weather: Heavy rain from ex-cyclone Debbie batters New Zealand (Newshub NZ)
- Tracking the storm: the science behind Tropical Cyclone Debbie (The Conversation)
- There’s only one way to save the Great Barrier Reef, scientists conclude (Science mag)
- Coral crisis: the Great Barrier Reef needs us to speak up (Sydney Morning Herald)
TOOLS AND RESOURCES
- Host a screening: http://www.stopadani.com/film (Stop Adani Alliance)
- Join: stop adani (Stop Adani Alliance)
- Crowdfund: Expose Westpac ad campaign (Market Forces)
- Act: Help celebrate Westpac’s 200th Birthday party (Melbourne, 8 April – MarketForces)
- Read: What governments and financiers need to know about the Adani Group’s record overseas: full report, overview (Environmental Justice Australia)
- Fact Sheet: Tropical Cyclones and Climate Change (The Climate Council)
- Podcast: Can the world’s coral reefs be saved from a bleached white future? (Graham Readfearn)
- Video: Queensland Premier confronted about Adani Mine (The Guardian)
- Image: (Westpac protest) (Great Barrier Reef bleaching) (Cyclone Debbie)
- “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.” – 350.org 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.