The Climate Council has raised concerns over the adequacy and transparency of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility’s (NAIF) governance framework and its pre-approval of the Adani monster coal mine.
The warning comes as the Senate Standing Committee submissions close into the facility’s governance and operation.
Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said the Climate Council submission highlights NAIF’s responsibility not to act in a way that is “likely to cause damage”, effectively forbidding any such loans to finance coal mines and their associated infrastructure.
“NAIF’s governing and reputational principles clearly outline that the facility cannot invest or act in a way that is likely to cause damage to the environment. This certainly raises concerns about how this project has proceeded to this point,” she said.
“To put things into perspective, if the Carmichael coal mine was to go ahead that is 60 years of pollution virtually locked in, exacerbating climate change.”
The Senate Standing Committee investigation comes after the damaged Great Barrier Reef, located on the doorstep of the planned mine, experienced two back to back years of unprecedented mass coral bleaching as a result of rising pollution levels, driving worsening and intensifying climate change.
“The only way to protect the Reef is to rapidly phase out all fossil fuel burning and mining, while actively transitioning to clean and efficient renewable energy and energy storage technologies.”
“We know that any new coal mines or fossil fuel projects are fundamentally at odds with global efforts to tackle climate change effectively and protect Australians from worsening extreme weather, along with the significant financial and health risks associated with coal.”
“It is beyond belief that such a project has progressed to this point. We urge the NAIF Board to rethink its support of the Adani Carmichael coal mine and to review its governance framework in relation to its project assessment and approval processes."
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