Federal environment minister Greg Hunt’s approval of what could become one of the world’s largest coal mines sets back global efforts to combat climate change, the Australian Conservation Foundation said today.

“To approve a massive coal mine that would make species extinct, deplete 297 billion litres of precious groundwater and produce 128.4 million tonnes of CO2 a year is grossly irresponsible,” said ACF President Geoff Cousins.

“At a time when the world is desperately seeking cleaner energy options this huge new coal mine will make the effort to combat climate change all the more difficult.”

If it goes ahead the Carmichael mine would be the largest ever dug in Australia.  It would take up five times the area of Sydney Harbour.  The climate pollution resulting from burning its coal would be more than New Zealand’s entire annual emissions.

In August the Federal Court set aside Minister Hunt’s original approval of Adani’s controversial proposal to dig the massive coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

Minister Hunt’s re-approval of the Carmichael coal mine flies in the face of rising public opposition to the proposal and scientific evidence that shows the mine would destroy 10,000 hectares of habitat for endangered species, including the largest known population of the southern black-throated finch.

“Tens of thousands of ACF supporters from all over Australia have written to Greg Hunt, asking him to reject the Carmichael mine once and for all,” Mr Cousins said.

“Just as Woodside lost its social license to build a gas factory at James Price Point in the Kimberley, most Australians do not want Adani to dig a massive coal mine and export the coal across the Great Barrier Reef.

“ACF will scrutinise this approval decision and carefully consider our options.

“We will use all appropriate means to stop this mine,” Mr Cousins said.

ACF and other environment groups ran ads in major newspapers in August urging Minister Hunt not to re-approve Adani’s Carmichael proposal.

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