ARRCC supporters have hand-delivered a letter to the Indian Consulate General asking them to pass on a message to the State Bank of India to rule out lending Adani nearly $1 billion Australian for their Carmichael coal mine. Here's the letter.
Friday 27 November, 2020
To whom it may concern,
I am writing regarding the concerning news that the State Bank of India (SBI) is considering a substantial loan to the Adani Group for the purpose of constructing the Carmichael thermal coal mine and rail line project in Australia.
I am writing on behalf of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC). We are a multi-faith charity made up of ordinary people of faith who share a common concern about the climate situation. Our supporters include religious leaders from many traditions and include the heads of religious orders and faith traditions.
I am writing to ask you to urge the SBI to rule out providing this loan.
The people of faith we are in touch with here are particularly concerned about those who are most vulnerable, today’s younger generations, people living in areas more subject to cyclones, heat-waves, sea-level rise and drought.
In addition, contrary to what the Adani company may claim, the Indigenous people of the Galilee Basin, the Wangan and Jagalingou, have not consented to this project and have mounted considerable opposition both through the courts and otherwise. This mirrors the serious harm Adani has inflicted on the indigenous people of Godda, India, where the company is building its coal-fired power plant.
A large majority of Australians are opposed to the mine. A national opinion poll in January 2018 found 65% of respondents either opposed or strongly opposed the Carmichael mine. Even in the normally pro-mining state of Queensland a majority of people oppose this mine due to its threatened use of billions of litres of water each year when most of the state is in drought.
All of us share in the moral responsibility to act, especially those of us who have positions of influence, whether the influence is economic or political. As a major bank, SBI’s has its own sphere of influence. This brings greater responsibility to use it to do good for the benefit of the wider community and future generations.
In the midst of a climate crisis and worsening extreme weather, it would produce enough coal over its lifetime to emit 4.6 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to over eight years of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. As Pope Francis points out in his encyclical Laudato Si, we have only one earth, one common home. Its capacity to support life as we know it is under severe threat.
SBI already rejected the Adani Carmichael project in 2015. While Adani may have received additional permits since then, the fundamental issues that make Carmichael unacceptable from a financial, environmental and social perspective have only become more evident.
The SBI needs to be aware that any company associated with this project faces massive reputational risks including being the target of the immense public opposition to Adani's Carmichael project. This opposition will include many communities of faith here in Australia.
Please would you pass on our message to the State Bank of India?
Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC)