Joe Kaeser, president and CEO of German industrial conglomerate Siemens, has written an open letter clarifying the company’s decision to provide signalling services to Adani’s Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.
Siemens was the target of protests at AusRAIL 2019, when protestors locked themselves to the stage during the AusRAIL gala dinner. Siemens offices around Australia were also targeted by anti-Adani protestors.
Kaeser wrote that Siemens’s commercial obligations tied the company to the project, highlighting that, “There is practically no legally and economically responsible way to unwind the contract without neglecting fiduciary duties.”
Other reasons that Kaeser identified in support of Siemens pursuing the project were reassurances from Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matthew Canavan, a due diligence report, competing companies that would have completed the signalling project if Siemens had pulled out, and the mine’s approval by the Wangan and Jagalingou people.
The Siemens signalling project forms part of the 189km rail line that will link the Adani mine to the Port of Abbot Point. The railway will travel from the mine to Moranbah, where it joins the Goonyella rail system.
In response to the environmental concerns raised by protestors, Siemens will establish a Sustainability Committee, to give input to the company on environmental concerns.
Key to activist’s opposition to the Siemens rail project was the potential for a rail line to open up the entire Galilee coal basin for development, which according to Climate Analytics, would be equivalent to 2 per cent of global emissions, once burnt.