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Adani Carmichael coal mine: Former Indian minister sounds alarm on Adani's track record, mega-mine's viability



India's former environment minister Jairam Ramesh is "absolutely appalled" by the Australian Government's approval of the Adani Group's massive coal mine in North Queensland, which he says will threaten the survival of the Great Barrier Reef, "a common heritage of mankind".

Mr Ramesh, an elder statesman of India's opposition Congress Party, also said the Federal Government and Queensland Government have failed to do adequate due diligence on Adani Group's environmental and financial conduct in India before granting environmental approvals and mining licenses.

"Adani Group's track record on environmental management within the country [India] leaves a lot to be desired," Mr Ramesh told Four Corners.


Key Points

  • India's former environment minister Jairam Ramesh is "absolutely appalled" by the Australian Government's approval of the Adani Group's massive coal mine in North Queensland
  • he says will threaten the survival of the Great Barrier Reef, "a common heritage of mankind"
  • the Federal Government and Queensland Government have failed to do adequate due diligence on Adani Group's environmental and financial conduct in India
  • "Adani Group's track record on environmental management within the country [India] leaves a lot to be desired," Mr Ramesh told Four Corners.
  • Mr Ramesh said it was almost beyond belief that the Australian Government would look to provide concessional loans and other taxpayer support to facilitate Adani Group's coal mining project
  • "I'm absolutely appalled by what is happening, because the impact [of climate change] on the Great Barrier Reef is now documented.
  • Australian politicians have argued India needs the coal from Adani's Carmichael mine in North Queensland to lift millions of India's poor out of "energy poverty".
  • But another respected Indian observer, the former head of India's Ministry of Power, E.A.S Sarma, dismissed that as false and misguided.
  • "My assessment is that by the time the Adani coal leaves the Australian coast, [it] will be about $90 a tonne.
  • "We cannot afford that, it is so expensive. My assessment is it will not be possible for the Indian market to absorb Adani coal."
  • "You know, you are shifting taxpayers' money into something which is not viable."
  • In India, Adani Group's ports business has been hit with a series of adverse findings for environmental misconduct and disregard for the law.
  • Last year, India's environment court National Green Tribunal found Adani had carried out illegal work on its port at Hazira, in Gujarat's south, "undaunted by [an] absence of environmental clearance or coastal regulation zone clearance" and without "care for any adverse order or adverse impact on environment".

So "wilful, deliberate environmenta violations", use of shell companies and tax havens, just the type of company we want doing business on the GBR.

Adani have already been fined $12k in Australia for a sediment leakage.

Ironically, Adani have decided to challange the fine instread of paying it, a sure sign of things to come.



Tags: Environment, Politics, Coal, Mining, Liberal, Australia, Climate Change, Adani, Energy, Great Barrier Reef, Gautam Adani

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