14 June 2019
STATEMENT OF WWF-AUSTRALIA CEO DERMOT O’GORMAN ON ADANI
The World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia believes that Australia is uniquely positioned to step-up and provide global leadership in addressing what is now widely recognised as a Climate Emergency.
With the right vision, investment in technology and swift action, Australia could, and should transition from being the world’s second largest exporter of thermal coal, to the world’s largest exporter of renewable energy.
The approval (with conditions) of the Adani mine takes Australia one step away from realising this vision, and fails to respond to the strong scientific evidence that we must limit global warming to 1.5 degrees to minimise the severity of consequences.
WWF-Australia’s ground-breaking Backyard Barometer survey published last year, found more than two thirds of Australians agreed that coal and gas pollution is putting our planet at risk, and more than half said ‘the federal government should not allow new coal mines’.
This year a Lowy Institute poll found Australians rank climate change as the number one threat to the nation’s vital interests in the next ten years.
The prospect of the Adani mine starting construction is very disappointing for people who are passionate about protecting our natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef, which suffered back-to-back mass coral bleaching in 2016 and 2017.
Australians want to see our economy transformed into a renewable superpower.
This is achievable, but requires leadership – to tell a complex story of how a global transition out of thermal coal is underway and that Australia is exposed to significant and rising social, environmental and economic risks if we do not make a well-planned ‘just’ transition out of thermal coal.
We acknowledge that communities reliant on thermal coal mining need jobs, hope and stability.
The Queensland government has a responsibility to ensure this, whilst leading Australia towards a clean energy future.
Our solar, wind, sustainable hydrogen and supply of rare metals and minerals can transform Queensland into a world leader in renewable energy and supply long-term employment to regional communities.