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Australia court dismisses climate change concerns over Adani's mining project

Kelly O'Shanassy, chief of the Australian Conservation Foundation that challenged the government's approval of the project, has said that the will not halt their efforts to stop the mine. Photograph: (Getty)

WION Australia Aug 29, 2016, 01.09 PM (IST)
Australian Federal court today dismissed climate change concerns raised by Australian Conservation Foundation over Indian mining giant Adani's plan of building a coal mine.

The Foundation had challenged the Australian government's approval of a Aus$15.5 billion ($12.5 billion) project in Queensland, home to the Great Barrier Reef. 
 
"Our question was whether Australia's federal environmental laws protected our Great Barrier Reef from its most serious threat -- climate change," said solicitor Sean Ryan from the Environmental Defenders Office Queensland.

"We asked the court to scrutinise if the environment minister was required to consider the climate change impacts from the burning of coal from the Carmichael mine, and disappointingly the Federal Court answered no."

Adani mining plans to produce as many as 60 million tonnes of thermal coal every year by building an open-cut and underground coal mine in the Galilee Basin.

Adani was also charged by Aboriginal group earlier this month. The group said that the mining giant did not have their consent to build the mine. This was also rejected by the court.
Adani mining plans to produce as many as 60 million tonnes of thermal coal every year by building an open-cut and underground coal mine in the Galilee Basin.


Adani, on the other hand, holds activists responsible for using loopholes in the legal system to delay the project which has all the legal approvals that are required.

"Over six years, there have been multiple approval processes, some two years of cumulative community consultation and submissions as part of those processes, and over ten appeals and judicial processes brought on by activists," Adani said in a statement.

"There can be no question that there has been more than ample opportunity for consultation, input and appeal and for activists to have their say."

Adani said it "stands ready" to deliver on its long term future with Queensland, pending the resolution of a small number of outstanding legal challenges.

"As the company has previously indicated, if those issues are finalised, construction can commence in 2017," it said.
"If the Carmichael mine proceeds its coal will create 4.7 billion tonnes of climate pollution over the proposed life of the mine, wiping out Australia's efforts to reduce pollution and contributing to more frequent and severe bleaching events on the reef." - Australian Conservation Foundation chief


Kelly O'Shanassy, the Australian Conservation Foundation chief, has said that the will not halt their efforts to stop the mine.

"We are not giving up," she said. "Poll after poll shows Australians want a healthy reef, not more polluting coal. We'll do everything we can to stop this mine."

"Most Australians would be shocked that the government can legally approve the biggest coal mine in Australia's history, when this year the Great Barrier Reef has suffered the worst coral bleaching on record -- a direct result of global warming," Kelly O'Shanassy said.

"If the Carmichael mine proceeds its coal will create 4.7 billion tonnes of climate pollution over the proposed life of the mine, wiping out Australia's efforts to reduce pollution and contributing to more frequent and severe bleaching events on the reef," O'Shanassy said.

"It is extraordinary that in 2016 a Federal Environment Minister can argue in court that a mega-polluting coal mine will have no impact on the climate and the Great Barrier Reef," she said.

Adani's project has been hampered time and again since its launch six years ago.


(WION with inputs from PTI, AFP)
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