Adani: the coal giant courting the UK

Uncle Adrian Burragubba, one of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners of the land where Adani is building its Carmichael coal mine.

Behind the logos 19 October 2021

London’s Science Museum has announced a brand new fossil fuel sponsor: Adani is going to be sponsoring its ‘Energy Revolution’ Gallery from 2023. But who is Adani and why is it suddenly interested in sponsoring a UK museum?

1. Who is Gautam Adani and the Adani Group?
Gautam Adani is the billionaire chairman and founder of the Adani Group. According to Forbes his net worth is estimated at US $74 billion, he is considered the second richest man in India and in the top 20 richest men in Asia. The Adani Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate currently valued at over $115 billion made up of 6 publicly traded companies across coal extraction, coal power, port transport, utility infrastructure and renewable energy. However, they do not define themselves as an energy company, but as a ‘transport and utility infrastructure company’.

The Adani Group are expanding their coal footprint by 800%, according to the #StopAdani Campaign, whilst also aiming for Adani Green Energy to be the largest renewable energy company in the world by 2030.

2. Why is Adani being accused of greenwashing?
a. Adani’s coal expansion plans
This is the story Adani doesn’t want in the media – so much so that the company refused to comment in this Bloomberg report:

But the fact is, in India, Adani is planning on:

*Doubling its coal-fired power capacity by 12 gigawatts (GW) to 24 GW, giving it more coal power capacity than all of Australia.
*Owning, developing or operating 132 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of new thermal coal mining capacity, including their one international coal project, the massive 60 mtpa Carmichael project in Australia, which would pave the way for more massive coal mines in the untapped Galilee Basin.
*New coal and LNG terminals at Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone’s ports.
*An obscure and highly polluting facility that would convert coal, including imported thermal coal, into plastics.
*1,500 new retail fuel stations and 1,500 new compressed natural gas (CNG) stations, as well as an expansion of natural gas distribution to households.

In the months since this research was released by Market Forces, Adani has bought another coal fired power station, and bid in government coal auctions, winning at least 2 more thermal coal mines

Indian opposition to Adani’s coal mining expansion plans

In Goa, a famous tourist mecca, communities are being turned into a massive Adani coal hub. All three proposed coal projects cut through Mollem National Park, a biodiversity hotspot. Adani plans to dig up over 51mtpa of coal over the next 15 years. Locals are concerned for their forests and impacts on local tourism with concerns over the effects of breathing in coal dust already being documented.

8,000km away from Adani’s proposed Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin, Queensland, is Godda where Adani is building a new coal-fired power station to burn some of the exported coal. The plant is at the centre of a major land rights battle with Indigenous Adivasi Santhal people. Court cases continue to challenge the forced takeover of land by the State Government on behalf of Adani. “Land is indispensable to a Santhal, we belong here…we are buried on our land. We have no problem dying on our land but will not give it away”. Villagers alongside the Santhal have said they have been forcibly kept out of public hearings, that their land was fenced off without their consent and agricultural fields destroyed. This was reported by the ABC in July 2020. Here is a video of local women in their own words begging Adani officials not to destroy their land:

Hasdeo forest
Right now the Indigenous Adivasi people of India’s Hasdeo forests (170,000km), one of the largest intact areas of forest in India, are standing against the Adani Group. They are dismayed that their ancestral lands are to be taken over by Adani’s proposed coal mines, with one already in operation. They are currently undertaking a 300km march from the threatened villages to the state capital. Reported here by Adani Watch and Survival International:


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