The Great Barrier Reef has experienced two years of back-to-back bleaching driven by record ocean temperatures. Adani’s massive mine is even more bad news for our World Heritage treasure. But together we can stop this mine. Add your voice to this open letter from leading Australian scientists.
Dear Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Northern Australia Matthew Canavan and Ms Sharon Warburton, Chair of the Board of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.
We are a group of leading Australian scientists, researchers and experts wishing to respectfully draw your attention to the serious risks to the environment, public health and North Queensland tourism posed by the Carmichael coal mine.
The Carmichael mine will be Australia’s largest coal mine with a potential lifetime of up to 60 years. If the Galilee Basin were a country on its own, it would emit more than 1.3 times Australia’s current annual emissions from all sources and rank in the top 15 emitting countries in the world.
New coal mines are fundamentally at odds with global efforts to tackle climate change effectively and protect Australia from the dangerous impacts of climate change, such as more intense extreme weather events and destruction of our most iconic ecosystems.
The Great Barrier Reef is particularly at risk, having already experienced two consecutive years of mass coral bleaching. Coal expansion will drive further warming of the oceans, which increases the risk of extreme bleaching to Australia’s reefs.
New coal mines, such as the Carmichael coal mine, undermine the vibrancy of other major Australian industries, including agriculture and reef tourism, that rely on water resources, land and healthy ecosystems.
As the strong global trend away from coal to renewable energy gathers increasing momentum, Australia’s thermal coal export industry future looks increasingly shaky. Seventeen major banks worldwide have stated they will not fund the Carmichael mine based on both its lack of economic viability and environmental impact.
The risks that coal, and specifically this mine, pose to human health are extremely serious. Burning of coal is a major source of particulate air pollution (fine particles that enter the lungs) and caused 4.2 million deaths globally in 2015. Carmichael coal would contribute to this disturbing global health threat.
In India, where the coal from Adani’s Carmichael mine in Queensland will most likely be exported, an estimated 80,000-115,000 people already die from coal pollution each year. The health impacts of coal mining are also being felt here in Australia, with the recent re-emergence of the life threatening ‘black lung’ (coal workers’ pneumoconiosis) in Queensland, with 21 reported cases. Carmichael coal is NOT “clean” by any definition of the word, and mining and burning it will continue to drive serious health impacts here and in India.
We the undersigned urge you to consider these insurmountable economic, health, and climate risks which make the project unsuitable for Australian Government support and/or public funding.
Professor Hilary Bambrick
Queensland University of Technology
Professor Tim Flannery
University of Melbourne
Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg
Global Change Institute
University of Queensland
Professor Lesley Hughes
Professor Will Steffen
Australian National University
Adjunct Professor Charlie Vernon
University of Queensland
James Cook University
Former President of BP Australasia
Add Your Voice
Sign this open letter from leading Australian scientists.