MELBOURNE, Australia – Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Brisbane and Melbourne on Wednesday against the planned construction of a coal mine by an Indian mining company in the northeastern state of Queensland.
They called on the government to halt the project by Indian conglomerate Adani Group, which last month said construction would begin “imminently.”
The sit-ins were organized by Stop Adani, a collection of action groups, which has been campaigning against the project because of fears that “Adani’s coal mine will fuel global warming and permanently damage our reef and water.”
“Adani’s dangerous coal mine would fuel catastrophic climate change right at the time we need to urgently cut carbon pollution. Adani can’t be trusted and our future lies with clean, renewable power,” the group said on its website.
According to the campaign, “stopping this project is absolutely critical to setting Australia on the path beyond polluting fossil fuels, towards a safe climate for all.”
The demonstrators gathered outside the Queensland government headquarters in Brisbane, with many of them carrying “Stop Adani” placards.
Some protesters attempted to enter the Queensland government headquarters but were blocked by police.
A similar sit-in was organized in Melbourne outside opposition leader Bill Shorten’s office where protesters sat on either side of the street, flashing large banners with “Stop Adani” written on them.
The protests follow similar demonstrations organized on Dec. 8 when thousands of students across Australia protested against the planned thermal coal mining venture.
On Dec. 5, students and activists staged a sit-in at Parliament House in Canberra to demand action on climate change and urged the government to halt the mining plans.
Australia has pledged to reduce total emissions to 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, but a recent UN report said there has been no improvement in the country’s climate policy since 2017.