Right when we need to cut pollution, burning more coal will lead to more extreme weather and further bleaching of the Reef.
Burning the coal from Adani’s mine would cancel out any good achieved from Australia's already weak goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions between 2020 and 203016.
Heatwaves are Australia’s number one killer of all natural disasters17, with bushfires, droughts, floods, heatwaves and other extreme weather events becoming more frequent and intense as a result of climate change.
Burning the coal from Adani’s mine will drive dangerous climate change which scientists say will kill large tracts of the Great Barrier Reef within 20 years18.
At the very time the world has agreed to reduce carbon emissions to stop catastrophic global warming, Australian governments are eagerly pursuing Adani’s massive new coal mine. Approving the Adani project and its rail and port infrastructure would open up the entire Galilee Basin to up to 9 additional new mines of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel.
Adani’s mine won’t just be the biggest coal mine in Australia, it will be the biggest new coal mine in the world, more than five times the area of Sydney Harbour19.
When we need to urgently reduce carbon pollution, this mine takes us in the completely wrong direction.
The Great Barrier Reef has already experienced devastating coral bleaching from rising sea temperatures as a result of global warming. If current climate trends continue, scientists estimate that in less than twenty years, coral on the Great Barrier Reef will experience serious bleaching every second year20. The Great Barrier Reef, now teeming with life, will become a graveyard in decades21. Burning the coal from Adani’s mine will help lock-in this tragic fate for one of the world’s natural wonders.
Climate change will also be accelerated by the land clearing required to build the mine. In total, 20,200 hectares of land, equivalent to over 28,000 soccer fields or 200,000 quarter-acre blocks, would be cleared. Over half of the land that would be cleared is mature woodland and bushland - important habitat for many animals including threatened species such as koalas and echidnas and endangered birds22.
Major heatwaves are a serious health threat, causing more deaths in Australia since 1890 than bushfires, cyclones, earthquakes, floods and severe storms combined23. Longer, hotter and more intense heatwaves in Australia are being driven by climate change. Research has found that the number of deaths in summer compared to those in winter is increasing, suggesting that climate change may already be affecting mortality rates24. Adani’s mine will only make this situation worse.
We are already experiencing the consequences of polluting our air and water and the dangers of the climate changing around us. We must immediately make the transition from polluting coal, oil and gas to 100% renewable energy to stop greenhouse gas emissions reaching even more dangerous levels. The first step is stopping Australia’s biggest coal mine proposal before it gets started.
Australia’s Emissions Target in 2030 is 440–452 MtCO2-e https://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/australias-emissions-reduction-target.
18. Sky News, Great Barrier Reef 'may be dead in 20 years, Wednesday, 8 February 2017.
19. Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) encompasses approximately 5,500 hectares.
20. CoECSS (ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science) (2016) Extreme coral bleaching may be new normal by 2034 https://www.climatescience.org.au/content/978-extreme-coral-bleaching-may-be-new-normal-2034.