Al Gore hopes Adani doesn’t get funding for his Australian mine
Nobel Prize winner and former US Vice President Al-Gore also urged Australia’s PM Malcolm Turnbull to retract permission for the mine in order to save the Great Barrier Reef
Former United States Vice President Al Gore has urged the Australian government to refrain from funding Gautam Adani’s Carmichael coal mine, stating that any financial help from Canberra would be “crazy” and “nuts.”
“The Adani mine doesn’t have its financing, I hope it never gets its financing,” Gore said.
“It’s not my place to meddle with your politics, but truly, this is nuts,” Gore, known to be an ardent environmentalist, told Guardian Australia at a recent event on climate change. Gore’s comments were reported on Wednesday.
The Australia government, despite criticism from environmental groups, has pledged a sum of $1 billion to Adani’s project, which would be used to build a rail line from the mine to the port terminal. According to a PTI report in May, Adani has invested nearly $3 billion in what would eventually be a $16 billion enterprise.
Gore said that Australia subsiding Adani’s mine would run contrary to logic, amid the ongoing global push towards renewable energy.
“It would be odd if Australia went in the opposite direction and subsidised coal. It’s impolitic of me to say it, but it would be crazy,” the former Democrat, who was jointly awarded a Nobel Prize in 2007 for his work on climate change, said.
Gore’s critical remarks are reflective of deep-seated suspicion of Adani’s $16 billion project, which has been dogged by controversies on account of potential adverse environmental impacts it would have on the surrounding Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage Site.
“I’ll just put it this way, if you had a choice between a huge new coal mine or the Great Barrier Reef, which would you choose?
“I’d take the Great Barrier Reef,” Gore was quoted as saying in Australian media this week, in an appeal to Australia’s PM Malcolm Turnbull to retract permission to Adani to build the mine.
While Adani insists that he is not worried about raising money for the project, recent developments indicate otherwise. Three out of Australia’s four biggest banks have refused to lend money to the Indian businessman, in face of protests by environmentalists.
It has been reported that at least 21 banks, including HSBC and Deutsche Bank, have also refused funding for the project. The government of Queensland, where the mine will come up, has also refused to borrow the Adani Group any money for the project.
Doubts have also been cast over the viability of opening a mine in Australia, considering the coal mined from it would reportedly be headed to the struggling Mundra power plant in Gujarat. According to recent reports, the Adani Group has been actively looking for buyers for the Mundra power project in the face of the Gujarat-based plant staring at financial unviability due to escalation in coal costs.