March 16, 2015

State Bank of India's cold feet on financing Adani's mega coal mine is good news for the climate and reef

SYDNEY, 16th March: News that the State Bank of India is considering withdrawing its proposed funding for Indian mining giant Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin is a positive sign for the climate and the Great Barrier Reef.

After the Bank indicated it would finance a $1 billion loan for the project, reports now suggest that India’s oldest and largest bank may be only days or weeks away from pulling the plug on Carmichael, joining nine international investment banks, including Deutsche Bank, Citi and HSCBC, who have ruled out involvement in the port and mine expansions.

If it were a country, the Galilee Basin would be the 7th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. The port expansion needed to export Galilee coal requires dredging in the Great Barrier Reef world heritage area and an increase in shipping on the Reef’s waters

“News that the State Bank of India is reconsidering in Adani’s mega coal expansions makes it clear that this project doesn’t have a financial leg to stand on,” said Australia’s CEO Blair Palese.  

“With a price tag of $16.5 billion and Adani to date raising a mere $1 billion for the project, it’s clear it makes neither economic nor environmental sense to fund these destructive projects.”

“Coal prices are at an all time low and analysts say that the age of coal is over. As the world faces a global coal glut and China and India reduce their coal consumption and importation, Adani’s Galilee coal project is a stranded asset waiting to happen ,” Palese said.

“To avoid catastrophic climate change, we know that 90% of Australia’s coal must stay in the ground. We also know that these Galilee mega coal projects would mean irreparably damaging the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef. 

“Any financier that touches this project is complicit in destroying the climate and our unique reef.

“We look forward to the State Bank of India voting on the side of logic and standing with global banks everywhere who have written off involvement in Adani’s projects. There is nothing viable about mega coal expansions – not environmentally and not financially, concluded Palese.

The Carmichael mine approval process is currently being contested in court and an outcome is expected in early 2016.

Media Enquiries: Charlie Wood 0427 485 233