Controversial Australian coal mine given go ahead

German manufacturing company Siemens has announced that they will continue work on the controversial Adani coal mine, despite outrage from members of the public and climate campaigners. 

The Carmicheal coal mine is a thermal coal mine in the north of the Galilee Basin in Queensland Australia. The mine is proposed by Adani Mining and was given state and federal approval in June last year.

Siemens has a contract worth roughly €18m (£9.5m), which requires them to supply rail infrastructure for the mine.

Australia is already one of the top exporters of coal in the world, and according to the protest group StopAdani, the mine will release an estimated 4.6bn tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and will also gain access to 170bn litres of sacred groundwater.

The coal mine will also destroy ancestral lands, waters and cultures of indigenous people, as well as allowing more than 500 coal ships to travel through the Great Barrier Reef ever year.

Australia has been overwhelmed with bushfires for several months now, with an area 1/3 the size of the UK, including over 2,000 homes and 25 people already lost to the flames.

With climate change partly to blame for these bushfires, climate campaigners have become increasingly outraged that plans to develop this coal mine show no sign of stopping.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg tweeted on Saturday (January 11): ‘It seems that Siemens has the power to stop, delay or at least interrupt the building of the huge Adani coal mine in Australia. On Monday they will announce their decision. Please help to push them to make the only right decision.’

However, yesterday (January 12), CEO of Siemens Joe Kaeser announced that the coal mine will continue, he said: ‘It’s been a real challenge for me to balance between a very legitimate matter of global and deceive importance and a fact-based economic and legal assessment based on my management duty.

‘In this case, there is a legally binding and enforcement responsibility to carry out this train signalling contract.’

He continued by stating that: ‘For the first time in Siemens history we will establish a Sustainability Committee with external members to give environmental concerns, even more, priority and attention in the future.

‘I will also open the doors to the youth, we have invited the leader of the German Fridays For Future movement to join such a Sustainability Board to add the youth to the table. Sadly, she has turned down my offer to join and suggested to add an environmental expert instead.’

Since making this statement, Luisa Neuabaur, the climate activist who was invited on the panel has tweeted: ‘The most overlooked aspect of the #StopAdani case: If all fossil fuel contracts currently signed will be enforced, the 1.5 target will be missed. So companies supporting the Paris Agreements will have to start dropping out of such contracts. And Joe Kaeser knows that.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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