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Supporting the Wangan and Jagalingou’s fight against Galilee coal

31 May 2015


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31 May 2015

In trying to build Australia’s biggest coal mine, Adani has not only picked a fight with everyone who values the environment, iconic sites like the Great Barrier Reef, a vision of a safe climate future and a world developing on clean, renewable energy.

They have also taken on the Wangan and Jagalingou people, traditional owners of the Galilee Basin land that Adani wants to tear up for its Carmichael mega coal mine. Their story is a powerful one. On the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council’s website you can see what their land means to them and how they have not and will not consent to Adani’s proposed mega mine.

So when they asked for our support to help connect them with the banks that are at risk of financing the Carmichael coal mine, we could not have been happier to oblige.

For an organisation such as Market Forces, which is all about helping people raise their voice and exert power to change financial institutions, there can be few more powerful stakeholders than the traditional owners of the land that would be ripped up for millions of tonnes of dirty coal to be exported each year.

“We will not rest until this disastrous project is thrown on the scrap heap of history…”

Adrian Burragubba, Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council Spokesperson

Here’s what is coming up. We’ve got two and a half weeks of intensive work where we’ll be meeting with banks on Wall St, and in London, Zurich and Hong Kong. We’re going directly to Standard Chartered, whose loan to Adani is already helping them push forward their Carmichael mine plans. We’ll be in Washington to meet with the US Export Import Bank, who Adani claim are a likely finder of the project.

Respecting the rights of the traditional owners to self-determination over how their ancestral land is used is a moral issue. But it is also a matter of international law. And for any bank that has signed up to the Equator Principles, or has committed to uphold the International Finance Corporation Performance Standards, financing the Carmichael coal mine would be a breach of those principles and cause major damage to that bank’s reputation.

So far, eleven major international banks have ruled out funding for Galilee coal export projects. We need this number to grow and will be calling for your help along the way. So stay tuned for updates and actions as we help support the Wangan and Jagalingou take their fight to some of the world’s biggest banks.