IF A fully developed Galilee Basin was a country, its coal mines would produce more carbon emissions than Australia does right now, a new report claims.
The Climate Council report, released today, said approving any new coal mines, including Adani's proposed Carmichael mine, was "fundamentally at odds” with Australia's commitment to combating climate change.
But Adani has previously defended its environmental record and stated that burning high-quality Australian coal to power Indian power stations was better than families burning low-quality coal or manure for fuel.
The report said if all Galilee Basin coal mines, including Carmichael, were at their full potential, the region would produce 1.3 times the carbon emissions that Australia produces today.
"If the Galilee Basin were a country on its own, it would rank in the top 15 emitting countries in the world,” it said.
The report, titled Risky Business: health, climate and economic risks of the Carmichael coal mine, said if the controversial mine was approved it could put tourism and agriculture at risk.
"New coal mines, such as the proposed Carmichael coal mine, potentially undermine the vibrancy of other major Australian industries that rely on water resources, land and healthy ecosystems, such as agriculture and reef tourism,” the report said.
"Developing any new thermal coal mines, particularly of the scale of the Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin, is fundamentally at odds with protecting Australians from the impacts of climate change.”
"More emissions from new fossil fuel projects will expose Australia to more intense extreme weather events including bushfires, heatwaves and storms. The Great Barrier Reef and the millions of tourists it attracts each year is at even greater risk if mining goes ahead.”
But an Adani spokesman has previously maintained the mine would create Queensland jobs and improve Indian standards of living.
"The planned mine will help in providing energy security to millions of Indians who are without electricity while creating thousands of jobs and economic benefits for the state of Queensland in particular, and Australia in general,” he said.
But the Climate Council report said this was a "fact-free” assertion.
Adani is yet to make a final investment decision on the proposed Carmichael mine.
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