Global faith leaders urge Adani to protect our common home, abandon Carmichael mine
Adani coal mine - why international pressure matters
In Australia, the climate movement has been battling a new coal mine proposed by Indian billionaire Gautam Adani. The struggle to stop this mine from being built has very serious ramifications for the rest of the world when it comes to averting serious climate catastrophe. Bill McKibben has campaigned against the opening up of the Galilee Basin for very good reason.
Adani’s Carmichael mine on its own, when fully developed, would add significantly to global carbon emissions. However, its full significance is that, because of the associated rail line, it would open up a whole new coal frontier in the Galilee Basin in Queensland, comprising up to nine mega-scale coal mines.
These mines could potentially have combined peak production of 330 mega-tonnes of coal per year, contributing 705 mega-tonnes of CO2 of emissions per year. If this were a country, it would be the world’s 7th largest emitter.
The six mines that have filed applications for regulatory approval have an estimated recovery of 9.6 billion tonnes of coal over their lifetimes, leading to 24 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions. Three other mines are further behind in the approvals process. If all of these are developed, they would bring the total CO2 to well over 30 gigatonnes.
This would total 6% of the world’s remaining global carbon budget for staying under the crucial 1.5°C threshold. Building these mines would add 30% to global thermal coal market. To put that into perspective, in its 2018 report on staying below this threshold, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provided four illustrative pathways for achieving this aim. All four required cutting thermal coal (for electricity) by at least 59% by 2030. One scenario put this figure as high as 79%.
Adding coal from the Galilee Basin to global markets would drive the international price of coal down making it more cost-competitive with renewables for longer than would otherwise be the case. This would delay the widespread uptake of solar and wind - which the world cannot afford to do.
See page 14 of the IPCC’s report https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/2/2019/05/SR15_SPM_version_report_LR.pdf
Dear Mr Adani
We write to respectfully appeal to your better self, to conform your business plans in Australia to the urgent challenge of limiting the damage being wrought by global heating. We ask you to abandon your company’s plans to build a coal mine and infrastructure in the Galilee Basin and, instead, strengthen your leadership in the provision of renewable energy.
The consensus among the world’s scientific community is clear, that humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions are destructive of the biosphere and must be reduced rapidly if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The burning of coal is a major source of pollution, and alternative technologies for energy generation are available. The ethical course of action is to abandon all plans for coal projects, and harness these alternatives to scale.
We are most concerned about those who are most vulnerable, today’s younger generations, people living in areas more subject to cyclones, heat-waves, sea-level rise and drought. Poverty exacerbates their vulnerability and are a special concern for people of faith. At some time, all of us will be inescapably subject to the realities of climate disruption. We are also concerned about the spiritual rights of the Indigenous people of the Galilee Basin, the Wangan and Jagalingou, who have been defending their homelands from the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project. The Wangan and Jagalingou people are part of the longest continuing civilisation on the planet, and their rights to traditional lands should be respected. For these reasons, people in Australia will not give up their resistance to your plans if you continue.
We all share in the moral responsibility to act, especially those of us who have positions of influence, whether the influence is economic or political. Mr Adani, you have the enormous power of wealth at your disposal. This brings a much greater responsibility to use it to do good for the benefit of the wider community and future generations.
We understand that a major goal of your company is to lift people out of energy poverty in India. Why not lead India into a bright, new future where people in energy poverty are provided with decentralised, cheaper, cleaner means of renewable energy generation?
The Adani company already creates renewable energy projects which are helping build a safer future. We commend you for this work, as a benefit to people at both a local and global level.
However, there is no ethical balance sheet where projects that are detrimental to the environment can be offset by other projects which are environmentally friendly. The proposed Carmichael mine would in itself contribute to worsening climate crisis but, if it also leads to opening other mines in the Galilee Basin, the outcome would be catastrophic.
We have only one earth, one common home. Please consider only projects which would benefit humanity. We urge you to abandon your plans in the Galilee Basin and pursue alternative plans, also profitable, for the generation of renewable energy.
The Global faith leaders urge Adani to protect our common home, abandon Carmichael mine petition to Mr Adani CEO of Adani Mines was written by Rachel Mash and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.