Faith communities joined a nation-wide Day of Action last weekend against Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine, reports the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC).
Hundreds of Catholics, Anglicans, Buddhists and others, from a range of traditions, attended three meditation and prayer vigils, in Sydney, Melbourne and Kiama, organised by the ARRCC.
People of faith also participated in dozens of massive #StopAdani events across the country. As Adani pledges to start work in October, a groundswell of community opposition is building in a way which is reminiscent of the Franklin Dam protests in 1983.
Uniting Church minister and ARRCC member Rev Bill Thomas said, “We have a duty to care for the earth, a sacred gift from God. In this time and place, this means protecting the Galilee Basin from Adani’s Carmichael mine. If the mine is established it will further exacerbate extreme weather events, which in turn are impacting the world’s poor the hardest. It will destroy parts of the Great Barrier Reef and cause irreversible damage to groundwater systems. As Christians, we cannot stand silently by.”
The Australia Institute has calculated that annual carbon pollution from burning Galilee Basin coal in India would be more than the annual emissions of Sri Lanka, more than Bangladesh, and equivalent to that of Malaysia.
ARRCC president Thea Ormerod said, “Through these meditation and prayer vigils, ARRCC bears witness to our faith-inspired calling to protect our grandchildren’s future. We also stand with the Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners whose land the Carmichael mine would desecrate. The Wangan and Jagalingou are courageously defending their homeland through the court system, and have been persisting in this for years.”
Ms Ormerod said, “We are very concerned about the support being given by both the federal and Queensland governments for the Adani mine and rail project. In particular, ARRCC opposes the possible $1 billion loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility for a rail line, and the Queensland Government’s decision to allow easy access to our precious artesian waters. All this at a time when a rapid transition away from coal and to renewables globally is rightly under way.”
At least a third of ARRCC's organisational members are Catholic, including Catholic Mission, Caritas Australia, Catholic Religious Australia, Catholic Earthcare, Edmund Rice Centre and a number of religious orders.