Indian environmentalists have launched a legal bid to stop a massive Queensland mine on the grounds the coal produced will add to India’s pollution woes.
An Indian conservation group has launched a legal bid to stop the creation of a massive Queensland mine, arguing coal exported from it will threaten the health and livelihoods of poor Indians.
The Conservation Action Trust has objected in the Land Court of Queensland to the approval of Indian mining giant Adani’s Carmichael coal mine in central Queensland.
The group’s executive trustee Debi Goenka said it will be argued the thermal coal mine – set to be one of the world’s largest – isn’t in the public interest and isn’t ecologically sustainable.
Mr Goenka said most of the mine’s coal will be exported to India and burned for electricity, adding to the pollution of air, water and land which poor rural people rely on.
“Eighty-five thousand to 110,000 people die each year in India from pollution caused by coal burning,” he told AAP.
“We have enough pollution in India already.”
It will also be argued Adani has a record of non-compliance with environmental laws, and the export of coal could cause environmental damage to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Mr Goenka said it was a myth that coal burning would improve access to electricity in India, where he said more than 300 million people can’t afford power but must live with the consequences of coal pollution.
Renewable energy sources were a wiser option, he added.
The Conservation Action Trust is being represented by Environmental Justice Australia, who says it’s the first case of an international party objecting to a coal mine in Australia.
The Carmichael proposal was approved by the federal government in July.
It’s forecast to produce 60 million tonnes of thermal coal a year, create thousands of jobs and have a lifespan of 60 years.
The case is expected to be heard next year.