Several hundred people crowded into the Sydney Lower Town Hall on June 5 for the 2021 #StopAdani Roadshow. The campaign is touring the eastern states to report on progress in stopping the Adani Carmichael coal mine in central Queensland.
Since the first roadshow in 2017, 100 global companies have ruled out working with Adani’s coal mine in the Galilee Basin.
Joseph Sukulu, from Haapai Tonga and Vaini in Tongatapu, spoke about how fossil fuels pose a serious threat to the Pacific and Torres Strait Islands from rising ocean waters. First Nations peoples and environmentalists needed to confront the climate change together, the leader from 350.org Pacific said.
Manjot Kaur, a 19-year-old Indian-Australian who is active in South Asians for Climate Justice, said Adani’s coal mines were contributing to environmental and social crises, including in her family’s home of Punjab. She said the health and well-being of Indians, especially small-scale farmers, is being threatened by Adani’s operations and noted that the Wangan and Jagalingou peoples had not given Adani permission to mine on country.
“Let’s write the story of the movement that will stop Adani,” Kaur said, adding that the movement needed to include everyone.
“Coal is the biggest driver of climate change in the world,” said Gemma Borgo-Caratti from the Sunrise Project. The carbon pollution from exported coal “is double the carbon [pollution] from every other source in the country”.
“The Galilee Basin is the biggest, untouched, major coal resource in Australia.” Adani had wanted to construct nine new coal mines and six coal ports but all those ports has been stopped. “The plans for other mines, in addition to Adani’s, have virtually ground to a halt,” Borgo-Caratti said. “However, the coal industry has no intention of going away anytime soon.
“The Adani mine is already seven years behind schedule”, Borgo-Caratti continued. “The Big Four banks and many insurance companies have pledged to end investment in Adani and in coal projects.”
Adani, which is still under construction, says it will be mining coal by September. In response to her question “Are we to let this happen”, the audience replied with a resounding “No!”.
Isaac Astill from Tipping Point said an important part of the campaign had been to help influence global finance and insurance companies to rule out new coal or fossil fuel projects.
“We need to ensure that no investor will fund the Adani coal mine,” Astill said. “Currently, the project is based on self-investment, with money being re-shuffled from Adani’s corporate empire.” He said the focus on getting investors to pull out of funding the mine, thereby starving the corporation of “new money” was central.
He outlined the next steps in the campaign including increasing the pressure on potential investors in June and a week of action from June 28 to July 2.
Local Stop Adani groups are also discussing their own actions, including protesting outside corporate offices, a “digital storm” of emails to specific companies and mass letter deliveries to potential investor firms, especially the five largest investors: HSBC; J P Morgan; BlackRock, Mitsubishi UFG and the State Bank of India.
The #StopAdani roadshow is also going to Melbourne and Brisbane and regional cities are participating online.