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Chasing Losses | Australia’s Bad Bet On Adani

Bob Brown protests against the Adani coal mine at Parliament House in Canberra, 2017

The Climate Council has slammed the Queensland Government’s conditional approval of the Adani Carmichael coal mine’s groundwater modelling plan, saying opening up the Galilee Basin is a climate disaster.

Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said the controversial mine was a dangerous, ill-informed gamble and urged the state and Federal government’s to prevent the project going ahead.

“Any approvals surrounding this monster mine are made without heeding the advice of the world’s leading climate scientists. The proposed mine is nothing but a losing gamble with sky-high stakes and lousy odds,” she said.

“Queenslanders are very vulnerable to worsening extreme weather, particularly floods and extreme heat. Burning coal is driving climate change. The reality is that we cannot have both thermal coal mining and a safe climate. It is one or the other,” she said.

McKenzie said approval for the mine disregarded scientific evidence highlighting the risks posed by the mine to local ecosystems, such as desert springs and the Great Barrier Reef, along with the livelihoods and well-being of Queenslanders.

‘As the nation’s greenhouse gas pollution levels rise year after year, we continue to see intensifying extreme weather events in Queensland. Communities have been hit with heatwaves, severe storms, flooding, bushfires and cyclones, as well as the repeated mass bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef,” she said.

“Queensland still has the opportunity to turn this around. The rest of the world is moving beyond fossil fuels and as one of the sunniest and windiest nations in the world, we must continue the transition to clean, reliable, affordable renewable energy and move Australia out of the energy dark ages.”

Meantime, the news is music to the ears of Greg Evans, Chief Executive Coal Council of Australia.

The Coal Council of Australia welcomes the Queensland Government decision to provide the final approval for the Adani mine in the Galilee Basin.

The mine will be beneficial for central and north Queensland with both direct jobs and wider economic benefits in towns from Gladstone to Townsville.

Today’s decision by the state government is long overdue and has been costly, there is no doubt it has damaged the investment reputation of Queensland and also Australia.

Clearly, project approval processes need to be revamped and streamlined to ensure this type of debacle is never repeated.

Over the past day, BP has released its annual energy report which shows strong Asian demand for thermal coal in the region. This contradicts detractors of the project who have said these types of investments have no future.

Demand for high-quality Australian coal remains very sound and is required to provide fuel for the large-scale expansion of high-efficiency low emission power stations in Asia.