The faith leaders oppose all new coal mining in the Galilee Basin, saying it would have an unacceptable impact on water supplies, the global climate and the Reef. They stressed the need for good local jobs in North Queensland and that it would be better met through solar investment.
The letter says that “grasping at short-term profits from a thermal coal industry in worldwide structural decline will not provide this” and that renewable energy is “booming….We are at a crossroads. On one way lies destruction; on the other way, sanity.”
Rev Dr Denis Edwards, Rev Dr Ormond Rush, Professor Neil Ormerod, Sr Barbara Daniel and Sr Elaine Wainwright are among the signatories, joining Anglican Bishops, Rabbis, Imams, Pastors and ordained Buddhists in calls for a change of heart.
On 18 April, outside Adani headquarters, representatives of the religious leaders and a group of Townsville people handed the letter to a representative of Adani Australia and held up a giant image of the Earth from space with the words “We all live here.”
The letter was organised by the multi-faith Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC). Catholic member organisations include Caritas Australia, the Edmund Rice Centre and a number of religious congregations.
Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black said, “Dollar for dollar, renewables provide a lot more jobs than coal. Investment in renewables could provide all sorts of jobs, from fabrication to installation, operation and maintenance jobs as well as research, education and training. Mr Adani can do so much good, and right now he’s at an important crossroads.”
Basing its work on the teachings of the world’s religions, ARRCC holds that true prosperity cannot be created without care and respect for people and the environment. “For thousands of years, our traditions have taught us to care for the Earth. This responsibility is now extremely urgent. And…those least responsible for this threat…suffer the greatest impacts of a warming climate.”
Read the letter here.