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Monday, January 27, 2020

Explained: What is Adani coal-mining project in Australia which Greta Thunberg is opposing?

Greta Thunberg and other environment activists had urged Siemens to snap ties with Adani's Carmichael project, which the engineering company on Monday refused to do.

By: Explained Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 14, 2020 9:13:21 am
Greta Thunberg,Greta Thunberg Adani Australia project, Adani coal mine project Australia, Greta Thunberg Adani, Express Explained Environmental activist Greta Thunberg. (File Photo)

Siemens, the Germany-based engineering company, Monday (January 13) said it would continue to honour its contract with India’s Adani Power in its upcoming mining project in Australia, defying calls from environmental activists, including Greta Thunberg.

Siemens is supplying signaling systems for a railway line that Adani is building in Australia’s Queensland state. The coal from the project is meant for export and would be burned in India, Reuters reported.

On Saturday, Thunberg had tweeted, “It seems that @SiemensDE have the power to stop, delay or at least interrupt the building of the huge Adani coal mine in Australia. On Monday they will announce their decision. Please help pushing them to make the only right decision. #StopAdani”.

What is the mining project that Adani is developing in Australia?

Adani is building the Carmichael Coal Mine and Carmichael Railroad project at the Galilee Basin in Queensland state. This will be the largest coal-mining project in Australia, and one of the largest in the world. It is located 160 km northwest of Clermont in Central Queensland, a region that is also known as Capricornia.

Valued at USD 16.5 billion, the project is expected to produce 8-10 million tonnes of thermal coal a year. The Australian government approved its construction last year.

The Galilee Basin, which is spread across 247,000 sq km, is one of the largest untapped reserves of coal in the world. Behind Western China, the Galilee Basin forms the second biggest fossil fuel expansion on the planet.

The Adani mine will be connected to the Abbot Point Port near Bowen town, which Adani has been operating for three decades now.

The mine will be connected by the Carmichael Rail Project, which will have an operational capacity of 100 million tonnes per annum, according to the Adani website. The three-diesel locomotive train will have 220 wagons and will carry 23,760 tonnes of coal and will complete a round trip in under a day’s time.

Adani has set a 60-year life for the project.

Opposition to Adani’s Carmichael project

Adani has faced country-wide protests in Australia against the Queensland project, and many have run an “Adani go back” campaign to deter the group from moving ahead.

Protesters have raised concerns that the project can possibly increase global warming and also threaten the Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef, located off Queensland’s coast in northeastern Australia, consists of thousands of small reefs stretching nearly 2,300 km. The marine ecosystem boasts at least 600 varieties of coral and is considered a paradise for marine species. It is considered one of the most valuable environmental entities on the planet.

Australia is also one of the world’s largest carbon emitters per capita because of its reliance on coal-fired power plants. Environmentalists say that the continued use of coal will lead to higher greenhouse emissions.

Currently, Australia is witnessing a catastrophic bushfire season, that began months before usual, leaving 28 people dead, and burning over 1.5 crore acres of land, killing an estimated 100 crore animals. Scientists say climate change is one of the causes of the catastrophe.

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