Federal government support for the Adani Group’s proposed Carmichael coalmine is the target of an open letter released today, signed by prominent leaders from Australia’s faith communities, including Uniting Church, Buddhists, Quakers and Catholic.
Dear Minister Frydenberg
As leaders in our diverse faith traditions, we feel compelled to challenge those responsible for Australia’s current climate and energy policies. In particular, we declare the proposal to provide public money to fund mining infrastructure in the Galilee Basin to be morally wrong.
The reality of human-caused climate change is settled science. Now it is time for action. We believe that people of goodwill must work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a matter of emergency, and to prepare for the inevitable consequences of the climate disruption already caused by earlier decisions.
Given the climate emergency that the world now faces, it is morally irresponsible for Australia to allow the building of any new coal mines, coal-fired power stations or other fossil fuel infrastructure. It is furthermore incorrect to promote ‘clean coal’; no coal is clean.
We are particularly concerned about the proposed Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. If built this would be one of the largest coal mines in the world. It would lock us into 25 to 60 years of more coal mining. Not only is this bad economics it ignores the concerns of farming and tourism industries precisely at a time when Australia ought to be leading the way in investment in renewable energy.
The technology to generate energy from renewable sources is now sufficiently developed and cost competitive to progressively replace the burning of coal. Several independent research studies have shown that Australia can source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources.
We know coal mining uses huge volumes of scarce water. Along with addressing climate change, guarding against water shortages in Australia is critical to the viability of our ecological life-support systems. It is both irresponsible and baffling that our political leaders would put our climate and water supplies in jeopardy.
We call on those in Government to show strong, visionary leadership, for the sake of their fellow Australians, for the millions of vulnerable people on earth, for future generations who have no say of their own, and for all of creation.
Yours in peace
Ms Cecilia Mitra, President, Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils (FABC)
Sr Elizabeth Delaney sgs, General Secretary, National Council of Churches in Australia
Sr Ruth Durick osu, President, Catholic Religious Australia, Provincial of the Ursuline Sisters
Mr Stuart McMillan, President, Uniting Church in Australia
Ms Jo Jordan, Presiding Clerk, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia
Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black, Environmental Adviser, Rabbinical Council of Progressive Rabbis
Ven. Dharmachari Ayryadharma, Sydney Buddhist Centre
Ms Jacqui Remond, Director, Catholic Earthcare Australia
Rev Dr Denis Edwards, Professor, Australian Catholic University
Prof Neil Ormerod, Professor, Australian Catholic University
Right Rev Prof Stephen Pickard, Executive Director, Australia Centre for Christianity and Culture, Charles Sturt University