• theleftberlin

Siemens under global pressure for helping build giant Australian coal project



German climate change activists held a protest on 14th December at the headquarters of Siemens Energy Sector in Moabit, Berlin to voice their opposition to Siemens partnership with the controversial Adani coal project located in Northern Australia’s Galilee Basin.


The group gathered at Siemens Gasturbinenwerk, Huttenstraße 12, 10553 Berlin, to hand out information and discuss the issue with Siemens staff.


The group displayed a banner reading:

“Siemens: Unterstütze Adani nicht beim Bau seines australischen Kohleprojekts Schütze das Barrier Reef - Übernehme Verantwortung in der Klimakrise”

“Siemens: Don’t build Adani’s Australian coal project, protect the Great Barrier Reef and take action in the climate crisis”


Siemens has been embroiled in controversy over the last two weeks regarding negotiations for a contract to provide rail line signalling works for the Adani coal project. The 200km long rail line is proposed to transport coal from the planned mine to the port where it will be exported on ships that will travel through the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area.


Adani’s Carmichael coal mine is arguably the most contentious resources project in Australian history. Millions of Australians have joined the campaign to Stop Adani, galvanised by a shared concern about the mine’s contribution to climate change, threats to the Great Barrier Reef, destruction of threatened species habitat, draining of rivers and ancient aquifers, and contempt for the rights of First Nations people, who have not consented to the project. Polling shows more than 65% of Australians oppose the Adani coal mine.


The Galilee Basin is the second largest proposed expansion of coal mining in the world, after what is planned for Western China. If this coal is mined and burned, it would generate 857 million tonnes of carbon pollution every year, and would account for up to 5.45% of global climate pollution in 2030.


Protest organiser, an Australian resident of Berlin, Carol Peterson said:

"If Siemens shareholders and staff realised the sheer quantity of coal that Adani plan to extract from the Galilee Basin, they would be shocked, if we are to have any chance of limiting climate change to safe levels coal in the Galilee Basin must stay in the ground. Profiting from new coal is not a forward looking strategy, the decision to work with Adani will be a disaster for their reputation.”


"Germany needs to know that the arguments that Siemens are using to defend this decision to profit from new coal, that will destroy precious environments including the Great Barrier Reef, is green wash. Siemens should listen to the Australian community, tourism industry, farmers and Aboriginal traditional owners, and the 60 major companies who have already ruled out working on this climate wrecking coal project. Siemens have chosen to be deaf to these voices, and instead listen to an Australian Government whose only climate policy is to take no action."


“We know that what we do now will make the difference between a liveable climate in twenty years or a dangerous one. Australia is experiencing unprecedented climate-change fuelled fires. People have been killed, hundreds of people have lost their homes and millions are choking on air laced with toxic smoke, yet the Australian government is in denial, they refuse to accept the link between climate change and bushfires and instead they are approving new coal mines.”


Kate Cahoon, Senior Germany Campaigner for 350.org said "Siemens should not be getting involved in a highly contested project that discounts Aboriginal land rights and threatens the world's chance to limit the climate's warming to 1.5 degrees. We're facing a climate crisis and it's irresponsible to enable any new coal project to go ahead"


Contact:

Carol Peterson in Berlin - DE: +49 15732020140 Ed Hill in Australia - AU: +61414 199 645