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CIMIC Group refuses to rule out Adani

11 April 2019

11 April 2019

The Adani Carmichael coal mine and rail project is perhaps the most contested mining project in Australian history. An eight-year campaign has seen more than 40 banks and insurance companies worldwide refuse to back it, as have many engineering and construction contractors.

To be seen doing business with Adani is, let’s face it, to risk serious brand damage.

Yet despite the relentless campaign against the Carmichael project, some companies like global engineering contractor CIMIC Group haven’t yet ruled it out. CIMIC works in 20 countries worldwide and here in Australia works on everything from our railways to hospitals. Today at its annual general meeting (AGM), CIMIC Group’s board not only refused to shut the door on doing business with Adani but left shareholders wondering if it is already.

Asked if the board would make a commitment to “not provide any services to the Adani Carmichael coal mine project or its associated rail and port infrastructure projects?” CIMIC Group’s chairman, Marcelino Fernández Verdes, replied:

“Usually we don’t comment on client matters.”

A concerned shareholder pressed him on whether they’d considered the “reputational risks posed to companies that work with the Adani project?”

But Verdes refused point blank to answer the question. Watch the interaction below.

CIMIC Group’s chairman’s attitude is all the more serious with the government rushing through Adan’s groundwater approvals this week the day before calling a general election, despite CSIRO scientists warning Environment Minister Melissa Price that the water plan was “so flawed its outcomes were unreliable”.

Leaving aside Adani’s devastating impact on the region’s water supplies – it has already been fined twice for breaches – CIMIC Group is also clearly ignoring the Carmichael coal mine’s potential contribution to global warming.

Even the Reserve Bank of Australia is now sounding the climate alarm for companies to consider how they will do business in a world where temperature rises need to kept to 1.5 degrees of pre-industrial levels. If the Carmichael mine is built and its thermal coal is burnt, we will hit well over 1.5 degrees of warming.

CIMIC Group companies are already deeply embedded in the fossil fuel industry, working on coal mines and gas projects across Australia. This year CIMIC‘’s CPB Contractors was awarded a $90 million contract to work on a massive coal seam gas infrastructure project in Queensland with APLNG. This comes at a time when we need to be dramatically scaling down the fossil fuel industry to help us stay within 1.5 degrees.

Take action

Every company that helps Adani make the Carmichael mine a reality would be partly responsible for the environmental and climate destruction it stands to inflict. Use our template to email CIMIC and other companies working with, or at risk of working with Adani and tell them to rule out this toxic partnership. The template for at-risk companies is halfway down the page.