Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Adani coal mine ‘fundamentally not in Australia’s interests’ – could be a financial disaster

The ‘Kodak moment’ for coal, and why the Adani mine could be a financial disaster, ABC Radio, The World Today By Stephen Long 27 Nov 17, The woman who led the world to a global climate change agreement has a message for Australia: “You really do have to see that we are at the Kodak moment for coal.”

Christiana Figueres, until last year the executive director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, doesn’t mean happy snaps for the family album.

Rather, the decimation of the once dominant photographic company Kodak by digital change — in the same way that coal-fired power is being eclipsed by renewable energy.

She hopes to see coal, like those sentimental moments in time captured in photographs, confined to history — with the world remembering the contribution the fossil fuel has made to human development, while recognising the need to retire it as a fuel source because of its contribution to global warming.

And, she says, it’s happening.

“We just had 25 countries come together [at the latest international climate change talks] in Bonn to say that they are moving out of coal in the short term.

“That does not include Australia or India or China, but you can begin to see the trend.

“India is headed for peaking its coal consumption by the year 2027.”

Adani ‘fundamentally not in Australia’s interests’

Which makes arguments that India needs the coal from Adani’s planned mega-mine in North Queensland — and the Federal Government’s determination to see the mine ahead — baffling to Ms Figueres.

The Government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, or NAIF, is considering Adani’s request for a subsidised loan of up to $1 billion to help it build a railway to connect the Carmichael mine in outback Queensland to the Abbot Point Coal Mine near Mackay, which Adani also owns.

By law, the NAIF is not permitted to make loans for projects that would damage Australia’s international reputation……..

this issue of the Carmichael coal mine which, if it goes ahead, would frankly blow completely out of the water any emissions reductions that Australia has committed to.

“Admittedly, those emissions from that coal will not be on Australian territory but they will affect the atmosphere and directly affect the livelihoods and the survival of Pacific islands around Australia.”…….

Various parties are considering court action against the NAIF should it grant the loan to Adani, including NGOs and commercial parties in other coal-mining regions……..

Lest climate change not be a concern, Ms Figueres has a warning to those considering investing in Adani’s Carmichael project that appeals to self-interest — she says it could be a financial disaster.

“I put it to you: do we not have here a financial house of cards?” she said.

Her assessment is based on various considerations.

These include the huge debts Adani’s Australian operations are carrying; the financial plight of Adani’s giant power plant at Mundra, which is meant to take much of the coal, but is on Adani’s own admission financially unviable — losing money and barely covering interest payments on its debt.

Adani Group is trying to flog the power plant to the Gujarat state government for just 1 rupee (about 2 Australian cents) with no guarantees that the Government would use coal from the Queensland mine if it were to take over the ailing plant.

Then there is the possibility that the giant mine, with a license to extract 60 million tonnes of coal a year, would become a stranded asset as the world introduces tougher measures to limit climate change…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-27/the-kodak-moment-for-coal,-and-why-adani-could-be-a-disaster/9197134

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November 29, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming

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