Billionaire Gautam Adani’s coal mine in Australia, a project that’s become a global emblem for opposition to fossil fuels, is preparing to begin exports after more than a decade of bitter dispute over its development.
Proposed in 2010 and stalled by legal challenges, financing setbacks and a sustained campaign from climate activists, the operation is scheduled to ship first cargoes before the end of December and aims to supply an initial 10 million tons of thermal coal annually for at least 30 years.
Opposition to the Carmichael mine, located inland from Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef in Queensland state, has spanned environmental activists to Wall Street banks, insurers and investors, offering a microcosm of the escalating international campaign against the most polluting fossil fuel in the past decade.
“Carmichael seems to have catalyzed a broader conversation about the future of thermal coal,” said Samantha Hepburn, a law professor at Melbourne-based Deakin University who has focused on mining and energy issues.
“That’s happening not just for activists, but in boardrooms and for investors across the world who want to reduce their exposure to toxic investments.”