Business

Religious Leaders Join Protest Against Adani Coal Mine in Australia

Protests have intensified after the Commonwealth Bank decided to fund Adani’s Carmichael mining project.

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani speaks during an interview with Reuters at his office in Ahmedabad in this April 2, 2014 file photo. Credit: Reuters/Amit Dave/Files

Religious leaders in New South Wales today gathered outside Sydney’s Commonwealth Bank headquarters to protest Adani Enterprise Ltd.’s project in Queensland, the largest coal project in Australia. Ongoing protests by environment activists have caused multiple delays in the project since it was proposed in 2010.

SBS news Australia reported that supporters gathered outside the bank’s Darling Harbour office, as ten Buddhist and Christian leaders protested inside the building holding placards with messages like “People of faith say rule out Adani” and “Grandpa what did you do about global warming?”.

The group was protesting the expansion of coal mines in Australia, said Uniting Church Minister Rex Graham, according to news.com.au.

The Commonwealth Bank is scheduled to have a board meeting on June 13 to decide on the issue of funding coal projects, including Adani’s Carmichael mine.

“The other banks have heard the message, particularly National Australian Bank and Westpac, and that’s what we’re looking for the Commonwealth bank to do also,” Graham told news agency AAP.

A spokesperson told AAP the bank supported almost every sector in the economy but would fund projects that met environmental, social and governance standards. An Adani Enterprise spokesperson, however, said he was doubtful of the claim because the Commonwealth Bank has over the years given Adani millions of dollars.

Adani last week said that his company’s Australian branch had agreed to a deal on royalty payments with the Queensland government which gave it the green signal to go go ahead with the project.

“The royalties arrangement means that the project is back on track to generate 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in regional Queensland,” a statement by Adani said.