December 17, 2014

11 Reasons why the Galilee Basin coal expansion is insane

Coal companies want to unlock nine mega coal mines in the Galilee Basin in Australia and export its coal through the Great Barrier Reef. In response, a growing movement of people is standing up to oppose these insane plans. Here’s why:





1. It will cook the climate –so vast are the carbon reserves stored in the Galilee that this one Basin would burn through six percent of the carbon necessary to take the planet past a two degree temperature rise, the red line set by the world’s governments. It’s literally a ticking carbon time bomb.

Reason 2B

2. It will wreck the Reef — most people agree the Barrier Reef is a pretty special place. With over 1600 species of fish and 1400 different types of Coral, the Reef is somewhere we’d love our kids to enjoy for generations to come, right? But unlocking the Galilee would see 1.6 million cubic metres of Reef sea floor dug up and a constant fleet of coal ships traipsing across it every day, for decades to come.

Reason 1

3. People hate it – the majority of Australians think that investing in new coal and gas makes no sense. As proof, over the past 12 months, thousands of Australians have moved hundreds of millions of dollars of their own money out of fossil fuels. And when it comes to coal projects near the Reef, nine in 10 Australians say this is a major no go.

Reason 3B

4. Turtles hate it – exporting the Galilee Basin’s coal means building the world’s largest coal port at Abbot Point. The port expansion involves digging up seagrass beds which provide critical habitat for dugongs and turtles.

Sun shining down upon the Earth, International Space Station


5. Birds hate it – the sea floor dredged from the Barrier Reef would be dumped adjacent to the internationally significant Caley Valley Wetlands, home to 40,000 different types of seabirds including rare and threatened species like this guy – the Painted Snipe.

Reason 5

6. Big Banks won’t touch it – already 11 major international Banks have said no to the project. We’re talking about folks like Deutsche, Citi, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland – not your typical greenie types in other words. They see the risks associated with investing in a dying sector and a project that will cook the climate and wreck the Reef.

Reason 6B


7. It’s backed by one of the dodgiest companies on the planet – Indian mining giant Adani owns the largest proposed mine in the Basin. They also own the rail and the port as part of their own vertically integrated carbon bomb empire. Adani has been accused of bribery, illegal construction, corruption and destroying protected environments. A first rate corporate citizen, huh?


8. Financial folk figure it’s a fizzer – analysts from Goldman Sachs to Oxford University say that investing in these mega new coal projects makes no economic sense. As the world’s largest economy – China – moves to cap its emissions and the coal price continues to plummet, the world’s best financial minds say Adani’s maths just don’t add up.

Reason 8A

9. It won’t solve energy poverty – the Galilee’s backers say it will deliver cheap energy to the world’s poor. But analysis shows that Galilee coal would cost more than local renewables. Increasingly, local communities in the developing world are standing up to dirty energy companies like Adani, whose activities are destroying their livelihoods and locking them into greater climate vulnerability.

Reason 9

10. Its the third most controversial project in the world – based on data collected by RepRisk a leading business intelligence provider, which examined the environmental, social and governance risks of projects across the globe. In 2014, the Abbot Point expansion was outdone in controversy only by a 40,000 cubic metre sulphuric acid spill from a Mexican mine that will take 20 years to decontaminate, and an explosion in a Chinese factory that killed 70 workers and injured more than 180 others. Enough said.

Abbott Point_GP_Tom Jefferson

11. Our Government loves it – last but not least, this should be the best indication that the Galilee’s a dud. As Tony Abbott declares coal is “good for humanity”, his QLD bestie Campbell Newman is selling public assets and investing taxpayers money in mega new coal mines. SRSLY?

Reason 10

If this wasn’t reason enough to say no to the Galilee Basin, then we don’t know what is. Click here to join the movement of people everywhere standing up to this insane carbon bomb.