Siemens will support controversial Australian coal project: CEO

Eloise Marshall
January 15, 2020

The group Fridays for Future, which has held weekly protests demanding action against climate change for over a year, wanted Siemens to quit the mine project because emissions from coal-fired power plants contribute to global warming.

"We should have been wiser about this project beforehand".

Australia has also pushed back against calls from some of its neighbors to ditch its commitment to coal mining to help combat climate change, saying those countries need to respect the country's reliance on the industry.

Adani said it was pleased to be working with Siemens and that it would not be "intimidated or deterred" from delivering on its promises of jobs for locals and coal for developing nations. More than 10 million hectares (25 million acres) - larger than the USA state of IN - have been destroyed by the raging fires. Distressing pictures of injured or lifeless native animals, together with koalas and kangaroos, have been flooding social media streams, whereas the human dying toll stands at round 28.

A day before, Greta Thunberg, who has inspired other protesters, told her Twitter followers to help push Siemens to make the "only right decision".

But Siemens did not that they "should have been wiser about this project beforehand".

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German engineering group Siemens said it would fulfil its contractual obligations to a controversial coal mining project in Australia's outback, attracting criticism from environmental groups on Monday. A "Stop Adani" campaign has said that without Siemens, Adani would struggle to build a rail line to the Galilee coal basin where there are now no coal mines.

The Australian government last year approved the construction of a new coal mine in Queensland by Adani that is expected to produce 8-10 million tonnes of thermal coal a year.

The vast mine is owned by Indian company Adani, and the signals contract is worth about 18 million euros ($20 million) to Siemens.

But it has the staunch backing of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Doubling down on coal, he said India's development is linked to the availability of more power and the low-priced commodity will play a big role.

"I urge you not to be intimidated by the noisy anti-coal minority", Australian Resources Minister Matt Canavan said in a December 18 letter to Kaeser.

"Some companies around the world have now got a sense of what it means when the climate movement turns against you", she said.

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