Thousands Join #StopAdani Global Online Rally
6000 #StopAdani supporters rally online calling on insurance broker Marsh to dump Adani’s Carmichael coal project
Thousands of people across the globe joined climate campaigners from Australia and the United States today at the biggest online rally in Australia’s history. The global rally called on Adani’s insurance broker Marsh - the world's largest insurance broker- to rule out arranging insurance deals for Adani’s Carmichael coal project and other fossil fuel projects.
The rally preceded the Marsh Annual General Meeting, scheduled for May 21st, where the insurance giant is expected to announce a climate policy after activist and investor pressure. Speakers included US and Australian campaigners, School Strike for Climate organisers and a wildlife rescuer accompanied by his wallabies which survived NSW bushfires.
Over 6000 people joined the online rally through Zoom and Facebook live, taking part in groups chants and actions including a live call to Marsh President and CEO John Doyle calling on him to rule out working with Adani’s Carmichael coal project.
A live tweeting storm saw the hashtag #MarshDumpAdani trend on twitter, 3236 tweets were directed at Marsh with messages for them to act on climate and stop arranging insurance for Adani’s coal project. Hundreds of phone calls were made to Marsh offices and executives and 1700 comments were left on Marsh social media posts.
The #StopAdani movement is undeterred by the challenges presented by COVID-19 and throughout the lock down has maintained pressure on companies involved with Adani’s controversial coal project. Innovative and creative digital tactics have been enthusiastically embraced by thousands of Australians who are determined to stop the largest coal mine ever built in Australia that would open up the Galilee Basin, one of the largest unexploited coal reserves in the world.
US based Energy Finance Campaigner with Rainforest Action Network, Elana Sulakshana from Seattle, Washington said: “Insurance brokers like Marsh have an important role to play in accelerating a just transition to a clean energy economy. From the US to Australia, the climate movement is demanding that Marsh rule out arranging insurance for Adani’s destructive mine and all new coal and tar sands projects.This campaign is just getting started. We will continue to spotlight Marsh’s support for the coal industry and complicity in Indigenous rights abuses until its policies and practices meet the scale of the climate crisis and respect human rights.”
Great Barrier Reef dive operator from Airlie Beach Tony Fontes said: “Working as a dive operator on the Great Barrier Reef I have seen first hand the devastating coral bleaching caused by climate change. We had the most widespread coral bleaching event ever to occur this year, which comes on the back of two other major coral bleaching events in five years. Opening up new coal mines like Adani’s will threaten the very survival of the Reef and businesses that rely on a healthy Reef, which have recently been crippled by the knock on effect of the pandemic. As a global corporate citizen Marsh has a responsibility to ensure we all have a future, and that means ruling out Adani’s climate wrecking coal mine.”
Kallan Benson, US School Strike for Climate organiser from Washington DC, said:“Young people will suffer the devastating consequences of inaction on climate change, with both the Australian and US governments failing to take appropriate action to reduce emissions. It’s critically important that big companies like Marsh show leadership by standing for climate action not climate destruction.”
Peter Day, wildlife carer and bushfire survivor from Cathcart, southern New South Wales said: “Last summer’s devastating bushfires killed over one billion native animals. As a wildlife rescuer I witnessed first hand the death and destruction wrought by these unprecedented fires, made worse by climate change. By brokering insurance for Adani’s coal project, Marsh is throwing fuel on the fire and turbocharging climate change that will make bushfires more frequent and more intense. Insurance brokers like Marsh should be acting to reduce climate risks for people, wildlife and the insurance industry by refusing to facilitate new coal projects.”
Marsh is the largest insurance broker in the world and has worked with Adani since 2015 to arrange the insurance that Adani needs to construct and operate the controversial Carmichael coal project in central Queensland.
In March this year staff within the company raised concerns with senior management over their involvement in the Adani coal project which triggered the revelation that senior executives were reviewing the company's position on climate and coal projects.
In May investors in Marsh confirmed with the Australian Financial Review that Marsh is set to announce a new climate policy at the AGM that investors expect will answer their concerns over the company's involvement with Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal project.
Finding insurance is a key challenge for Adani, with 16 global insurers already out of the project following community pressure. 65 companies have ruled out working with Adani on their Carmichael coal project which will drive climate change, destroy Queensland’s precious groundwater and endanger the Great Barrier reef.
Adani’s coal mine will be the biggest in Australian history. Two-thirds of Australians are opposed to Adani’s coal project. With heightened concern over climate change after a summer of intense bushfires, the #StopAdani grassroots movement is ready to show US Insurance Broker Marsh just how much the community wants Marsh to choose climate action over climate destruction.