Monday, November 10, 2014

Australian environmental survey claims 69% Indians oppose Adanis' imported coal-fired power project

http://youtu.be/gyB8JRwwWgc
Click on the image to watch spot interviews in Gujarat
By Our Representative
A survey conducted by AZ Research for Australian environmental group Market Forces a less than a week ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to visit Australia to attend the G-20 summit has claimed that 69 per cent of Indians, and 87 per cent of Gujaratis, oppose imported coal-fired power plant project being imported by Modi’s closest industrial group, Adanis. Sponsored by Australian environmental group Market Forces, the survey has been carried out as part of the environmental campaign in Australia over importing coal from proposed mines in the Aussie province of Queensland’s Galilee Basin, contracted to the Adani Group.
A statement by Market Forces and Conservation Action Trust says, “The telephone survey of 1,000 Indians, which revealed 69 per cent opposition to the proposals to import coal from Queensland’s Galilee Basin, comes as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares to arrive in Australia for the G20 meeting, where Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has foreshadowed a major announcement concerning the $16 billion Adani Carmichael mine, rail and port project.”
The surveys include spot interviews with individuals in villages where the Adani Group’s power plant is coming up, Mundra, in Gujarat, the home state of group chairman Gautam Adani. The polling results can be found at: www.marketforces.org.au/india-coal-survey.
The statement says, “Most Indians believe that the country’s future power needs are best served by building renewable energy (68 per cent) as opposed to coal (29 per cent). The majority (58%) consider the environmental and health costs of coal-fired power are unjustified. The majority (56%) believed that the major coal power expansion in India over the past decade had continued to leave those without energy access behind. Only 38% thought that the expansion of coal had alleviated energy poverty.”
“Proposals by Adanis and GVK to build new mega coal mines in the Galilee Basin are being contested in Australia over their environmental impacts, including the disruption to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area as new export terminals are proposed to dramatically increase shipping from Abbot Point. Throughout 2014, nine major international banks have committed to not fund the proposed port expansion, many citing the concerns held over the Great Barrier Reef”, the statement points out.
“The projects have also been criticised as economically unviable and research has found that if coal from the Adani Carmichael mine and GVK’s Kevin’s Corner mine is imported into India, it would generate power at 40-90% more than the current wholesale price, costing more than power from solar and wind”, it underlines.
“We’re talking about opening up one of the world’s biggest untapped coal basins and adding billions of tonnes of carbon pollution to the atmosphere, building massive new coal export terminals at Abbot Point in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, turning the Reef into a coal shipping superhighway and then asking people in India to pay twice as much for this dirty energy. It’s no wonder that the idea is so unpopular”, said Market Forces Lead Campaigner Julien Vincent.
Meanwhile, Debi Goenka, from the Conservation Action Trust in Mumbai, last month began court proceedings against the Adani Carmichael mine, based on the pollution that would be generated as the coal from the mine is burned in India. “The Carmichael coal mine would be an environmental and health hazard for thousands of people directly affected by the dirty power it generates in India. This survey demonstrates that people in India are well aware of the environmental costs of coal and can see a better, more sustainable path ahead in renewable energy”, Goenka said.

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