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Nature & the Reef

Adani says it’s ready to start work – Are you ready to accept that?

30 November, 2018

Australia is at a crossroads.

We can honour our international commitments to limit global warming to below 1.5 – 2°C above pre-industrial levels, or we can continue to allow ‘business as usual’ to cause irreparable  damage to our natural environment, our way of life, and our iconic Great Barrier Reef.

Existing approved fossil fuel production is already sufficient to take the world to 2°C warming. That means we need to take effective and immediate action to keep our coal and gas in the ground if we are going to head off the worst impacts of climate change, consistent with our global commitments.

We call upon our state and federal governments to legally prevent new thermal coal and gas projects.

Adani Group has confirmed it will self-fund its controversial Carmichael project and plans to start construction this year, despite unsatisfied key conditions of approval and facing increasing community opposition.

After being turned down by nearly three dozen international financial institutions, Adani has announced it will fund their $2 billion Carmichael coal mine entirely from its own coffers.1

At the same time, the company announced it intends to begin construction “before Christmas”, a goal which may not be feasible given its current approvals timeline.2

The announcement comes as the Carmichael mine project faces intensifying community opposition with calls for governments to step in and back up our international climate obligations with firm action to stop new fossil fuel extraction projects.

Sign the Petition

Adani can give itself as many $2 billion cash injections as it likes, but it cannot overrule our sovereign rights to protect our land and people.

Sign our petition calling on our governments to rule out any new coal or gas extraction projects, which are incompatible with our international obligations under the Paris Agreement.

Adani’s Carmichael mine project – A fait accompli?

Adani has been keen to present its Carmichael mine project as a done deal.

However, while Adani has most primary approvals secured, including relevant federal approvals under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (Cth) and its Environmental Approval under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld), there are a number of outstanding conditions it needs to meet.

Chief among these are its Black-throated Finch Species Management Plan and its Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Management Plan, (GDEMP) both of which need to be approved by the state and federal governments before it can commence significant ground disturbance.

Adani is also currently mired in a state government investigation into persuasive evidence compiled by EDO Qld and conservation group Coast and Country3 that appears to show the company has already breached its current approvals by commencing Stage Two works before their GDEMP has been accepted by the government.

In addition, Adani is facing prosecution and fines of up to $2.7 million for breaching its Temporary Emissions Licence in the March 2017 release of contaminated, coal-laden water from its Abbot Point terminal into the marine environment at the Great Barrier Reef.

Traditional Owners in the area around the proposed mine have also objected to the project and will challenge Adani before a full Federal court bench next year.

With a number of outstanding conditions still to be fulfilled, and Adani facing a range of legal challenges, the future of the Carmichael mine is far from guaranteed.

Adani’s Carmichael mine – Incompatible with the Paris Agreement

What is clear is that mines like the Adani Carmichael project are totally incompatible with our international commitments to limit global warming to below 1.5 - 2°C above pre-industrial levels.4

There is simply no room in the global carbon budget for any new coal or gas extraction if we are to meet our obligations, let alone a massive mine like Adani’s Carmichael project, which potentially opens up an entire new coal basin.5,6

State and federal governments need to come clean about the reality of our international commitments and stop making decisions that put our compliance with them in jeopardy.

That means no new coal or gas extraction projects can be approved, effective immediately.

In the end, decisions about the future of our planet don’t come down to what companies like Adani want, it comes down to what we the people are willing to allow.

Please sign our petition calling on state and federal governments to legally prevent new thermal coal and gas extraction projects.


1. Adani says a scaled-down version of its Carmichael coal mine will go ahead, ABC, 29 Nov 2018

2. Adani's greenlight for Carmichael Mine, AFR, 29 Nov 2018

3. Business Services of Coast and Country Inc.

4. The Sky’s Limit, Oil Change International, 2016

5. McGlade & Ekin (8 January 2015) The geographical distribution of fossil fuels unused when limiting global warming to 2C, 517 Nature 187;

6. Unburnable Carbon: why we need to leave fossil fuels in the ground, Climate Council of Australia, 2015


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