Reacting to the news that Adani has decided to self-fund the entirety of its Carmichael coal project, Executive Director of Friends of the Earth affiliate member group, Market Forces, Julien Vincent said:
This is an act of desperation from Adani, which knows the window of opportunity to build its Carmichael mega coal mine is rapidly closing. It’s also an admission of failure, as the company has tried and failed for almost a decade to find a financial backer and now has no option but to move its unpopular project ahead with its own capital.
Adani’s claim of financial close remains highly questionable. Financial close is what happens when everything is in place. This is a project that still doesn’t have all of its approvals. Its claims of an Indigenous Land Use Agreement are being challenged in the High Court, there’s a 200km gap with no rail line, no-one on the hook to build it, and no guarantee of access to the existing rail network at the other end.
The key question though is whether this move will put enough pressure on the Queensland and Federal Governments to rush all the remaining approvals through prior to the election? It’s clear Adani’s game plan is to get everything in place before next year’s elections, which might see them lose critical political support for the project.
The timing of Adani’s announcement also leaves a lot to be desired. Queensland is facing unprecedented heat and intense bushfires and here comes Mr Adani saying he’s going to build a climate-wrecking coal mine that can’t get a single private backer.
The political gesture can’t exactly be welcome either. The Adani project is widely opposed in the electorate and climate change is hardly the Morrison Government’s strong suit. To make the Carmichael mine an election issue yet again is unlikely to do any favours for the federal government.