International faith leaders urge Adani to abandon coal project

More than 70 religious leaders from fifteen countries have signed an open letter, calling on Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani to step away from the Carmichael Coal Project which threatens to destroy the lands of the Wangan and Jagalingou people, kill more of the Great Barrier Reef and further destabilise the climate. They urge him instead to scale up Adani’s renewable energy business.





Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, Christian, Muslim and Jewish signatories, including many high-ranking leaders, have urged the billionaire industrialist to build Adani into a force for good that provides affordable, and clean energy to people, and doesn’t increase their risk of being harmed by climate disasters. 


Thea Ormerod, Chair, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC), said:Renewable energy can power communities safely, while burning coal worsens climate change and exposes people to more severe droughts, cyclones, heatwaves, and infectious disease epidemics.”


“There is just no moral case for digging up and burning coal when you could be investing in the bright future of renewables instead. And financial experts say there is no economic case for it either.


“Adani’s Carmichael coal mine is a carbon bomb, and a moral failure that will contribute hundreds of tonnes of carbon pollution into the atmosphere and put millions of lives at risk. Walking away from the project is the only ethical course of action. It also happens to be financially sound,” said Ormerod. 


The letter, which is coordinated by ARRCC, tells Mr Adani that there is no “ethical balance sheet” for promoting renewable energy with one hand and coal with the other. 


Reverend Canon Dr Rachel Mash, Environmental Coordinator of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, said: “Worsening floods and droughts are hurting vulnerable communities across Southern Africa, and new coal projects like Adani’s Carmichael mine lock in further harm to people in Africa and around the world.” 


“Mr Adani’s mission to energise India can be achieved in harmony with a clean future and safe climate, or it can be done in a way that makes the world more dangerous and difficult for us all. The choice is his,” said Reverend Mash. 


The full letter and list of signatories are below. 


Dear Mr Adani


We write to respectfully appeal to your better self, to conform your business plans in Australia to the urgent challenge of limiting the damage being wrought by global heating. We ask you to abandon your company’s plans to build a coal mine and infrastructure in the Galilee Basin and, instead, strengthen your leadership in the provision of renewable energy.


The consensus among the world’s scientific community is clear that humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions are destructive of the biosphere and must be reduced rapidly if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The burning of coal is a major source of pollution, and alternative technologies for energy generation are available. The ethical course of action is to abandon all plans for coal projects, and harness these alternatives to scale.


We are most concerned about those who are most vulnerable, today’s younger generations, people living in areas more subject to cyclones, heat-waves, sea-level rise and drought. Poverty exacerbates their vulnerability and are a special concern for people of faith. At some time, all of us will be inescapably subject to the realities of climate disruption. We are also concerned about the spiritual rights of the Indigenous people of the Galilee Basin, the Wangan and Jagalingou, who have been defending their homelands from the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project. 


The Wangan and Jagalingou people are part of the longest continuing civilisation on the planet, and their rights to traditional lands should be respected. For these reasons, people in Australia will not give up their resistance to your plans if you continue.


We all share in the moral responsibility to act, especially those of us who have positions of influence, whether the influence is economic or political. Mr Adani, you have the enormous power of wealth at your disposal. This brings a much greater responsibility to use it to do good for the benefit of the wider community and future generations.


We understand that a major goal of your company is to lift people out of energy poverty in India. Why not lead India into a bright, new future where people in energy poverty are provided with decentralised, cheaper, cleaner means of renewable energy generation?


The Adani company already creates renewable energy projects which are helping build a safer future. We commend you for this work, as a benefit to people at both a local and global level.


However, there is no ethical balance sheet where projects that are detrimental to the environment can be offset by other projects which are environmentally friendly. The proposed Carmichael mine would in itself contribute to worsening climate crisis but, if it also leads to opening other mines in the Galilee Basin, the outcome would be catastrophic.


We have only one earth, one common home. Please consider only projects which would benefit humanity. We urge you to abandon your plans in the Galilee Basin and pursue alternative plans, also profitable, for the generation of renewable energy.



Most Reverend Thabo Makgoba, Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Cape Town, South Africa 

Reverend James Bhagwhan, General Secretary, Pacific Conference of Churches, Suva, Fiji 

Venerable Bikkhu Bodhi, President, Buddhist Association of US and founder, Buddhist Global Relief, Carmel, USA

Dr Joanna Macy, Buddhist scholar, teacher, The Work That Reconnects, Berkeley, USA

Right Reverend Nicholas Holtham, lead bishop on environment for the Church of England, Bishop of Salisbury, UK 

Right Reverend Lloyd Allen, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Honduras, Tegucigalpa, Honduras 

Dr Hema Pokharna (Jain), Director, Journeys of Life, Chicago, USA 

Mr Gauranga Das, Director, Govardhan Eco Village, Mumbai, India 

Imam Hassan Elsetohy, President, Australian National Council of Imams, Sydney, Australia

Rabbi David Kunin, Chair of the Council of Progressive Rabbis of Australia, New Zealand and Asia, Tokyo, Japan

Right Reverend Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the US

Shaikh Sultan Niaz-ul-Hassan, Chair, Hazrut Sultan Bahu Trust, Birmingham, UK 

Rabbi Professor Tony Bayfield, London, UK 

Bishop Philip Huggins, President, National Council of Churches, Melbourne, Australia 

Ms Ann Zubrick, Presiding Clerk, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Australia 

Bishop Mwale Subi, Anglican Bishop of the Diocese of Katanga, Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the     Congo 

Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya, Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Swaziland, Mbabane, Swaziland 

Mr Ravneet Singh, Project Manager (South Asia), EcoSikh, Ludhiana, India 

Inderpreet Singh, Ludhiana, India 

Imam Qari Muhammad Asim, Leeds, UK 

Imam Dr Daud Batchelor, Brisbane, Australia 

Rabbi Dr Walter Rothschild, Berlin, Germany 

Rabbi Eliot Baskin, Greenwood Village, USA 

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, London, UK

Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black, Melbourne, Australia 

Rabbi Joel Schwartzman, Charlottesville, USA 

Rabbi Haim Beliak, Los Angeles, USA 

Rabbi Fabian Sborovsky, Manchester, UK

Rabbi Jeffrey Newman, London, UK 

Rabbi Dr Stephen Fuchs, Sanibel, Florida, USA

Rabbi Irit Shillor, London, UK

Rabbi Colin Eimer, White British, UK

Rabbi Paul and Susan Citrin, Albuquerque, USA 

Rabbi Mark Hurvitz, New York, USA

Rabbi Glynis Conyer, New York, USA 

Rabbi Susan Marks, Sarasota, USA 

Rabbi Justin Kerber, Indianapolis, USA

Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild, Milan, Italy

Rabbi Dr Henry Bamburger, Utica, USA 

Rabbi Julian Cook, Denver, USA 

Rabbi Monique Mayer, Cardiff, UK

Rabbi Hillel Avidan, Durban, South Africa

Dharmacharini Munisha Hopper, ordained in Triratna Order of Buddhism, Brommer, Sweden

Dharmacari Ratnavyuha, Aukland, Aotearoa/New Zealand

Dharmacari Ratnavyuha, Aukland, Aotearoa/New Zealand 

Dharmacharini Akasamati, Thames, Aotearoa/New Zealand

Dharmacharini Maitridevi Roe, Wrecsam, UK

Dharmacharini Parami Anagarika, ordained in Triratna Order of Buddhism, Glasgow, UK 

Dharmachari Vessantara, Ledbury, UK 

Very Reverend Ken Gray, Dean of St Pauls Cathedral, Kamloops, Canada

Right Reverend Samuel Rodman, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, USA 

Right Reverend Vivienne Faull, Bishop of Bristol, UK 

Right Reverend Marc Andrus, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California, San Francisco, USA

Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Bishop John Chane, former Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington DC, USA 

Right Reverend Thomas Ely, former Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont, USA

Right Reverend Martin Field, Bishop of Episcopal Diocese of West Missouri, Kansas City, USA 

Right Reverend Samuel Rodman, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, Raleigh, USA 

Reverend Canon John Kafwaka, Director for Mission, Anglican Communion, London, UK

Reverend Canon Jeff Golliher, Adviser for Environment, Anglican Communion Office of United Nations,

New York, USA

Right Reverend Cameron Venables, Anglican Church of Southern Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Right Reverend Jeremy Greaves, Anglican Church of Southern Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Right Reverend Dr George Browning, Former convenor Anglican Communion Environment Network, Long

Beach, Australia

Right Reverend Professor Stephen Pickard, Executive Director, Australian Centre for Christianity and

Culture at Charles Sturt University, Canberra, Australia

Reverend Laiseni Fanon Charisma Lavia'a, Meadowbank, Aotearoa/New Zealand

Bishop Geoff Davies, Patron, Southern African Faith Communities' Environment Institute, Cape Town, South Africa

Reverend Susan Hendershot, President, Interfaith Power and Light (multi-faith), Oakland, USA

Reverend Fletcher Harper, Director of GreenFaith (multi-faith), Hackensack, USA

Reverend Canon Claire Brown, Dunedin, Aotearoa/New Zealand

 Reverend John Hebenton, Tauranga, Aotearoa/New Zealand

Reverend Canon Dr Rachel Mash, Environmental Coordinator Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

 Ms Thea Ormerod, President, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (multi-faith), Sydney, Australia

The full list of 107 signatories, not all of whom are leaders in their faith communities, can be viewed here:

The petition also includes comments from individuals.


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Thea Ormerod

Thea Ormerod is President, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change. Please visit