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Open Letter to Aurizon

We, the undersigned, call on Australia to begin the immediate phase out of coal exports from this country consistent with global efforts to prevent global warming running out-of-control and destroying lives and livelihoods here and abroad. Aurizon, one of the world’s largest coal haulage companies has resorted to litigation, pursuing environmental activists Frontline Action on Coal.

The case relates to the political dispute around the Adani mine and the impacts of climate change. It seems squarely aimed at stopping public participation in the debate. If granted the Order will have a chilling effect on the rights and ability of all Australians to participate in public debate and political protest. 

We are dismayed at the failure of Australian Governments and companies to act on the urgent necessity to phase out mining, exporting and burning coal in response to the growing urgency and damage of climate change. This failure not only leaves Australians suffering the consequences of climate change, it leaves coal mining communities at risk from suddenly losing livelihoods with no plan for the future.

Nearly three years after signing the Paris Agreement and agreeing to work with other countries to keep global warming below 2 degrees, Australia continues to open new coal mines for the export of coal overseas. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report this year showing that allowing warming to exceed 1.5 degrees will mean more heatwaves for Australia, more fire weather, and up to 90% of coral reefs lost worldwide.

To avoid out-of-control global warming and its consequences, coal use worldwide must decline by more than half in the next two decades and Australian coal exports must do the same.[1] In the absence of fitting action from Government and business, we support the actions of Australian citizens calling attention to and protesting the export of coal.

We are appalled that a powerful company like Aurizon, which is in a position to lead the phase out of coal exports and be part of global efforts to save Australians from the lasting effects of dangerous climate change is instead seeking to shut down a small group of citizens who are putting themselves at risk to confront this challenge.  

We are living in a time of danger and will live with the consequences of our actions for decades and centuries to come. Australia is in a unique position to tackle this danger and we call on the leaders of the nation to join global efforts to phase out coal use.

Sincerely,  

Bob Brown, Patron, Bob Brown Foundation

Missy Higgins, Singer – Songwriter

Jeff Hansen, Managing Director, Sea Shepherd Australia

Larissa Waters, Senator

Montaigne, Singer – Songwriter 

Bill McKibben, Co Founder, Author, 350.org

Professor Terry Hughes, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

Blair Palese, Co Founder, CEO 350.org

Sheena Gillman, Secretary,  Protect the Bush Alliance

Susie Crick, Surfrider Foundation Australia

Thea Ormerod, Chair Australian Religious Response to Climate Change

Berish Bilander, Co CEO Green Music Australia

Tim Hollo, Exec Director The Green Institute

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