Siemens to Honor Deal of Adani's Controversial Coal Mine in Australia

German company Siemens has affirmed that it will honor its commitment made to India’s Adani Group. The Charmichael coal mine of Adani Group has been under the scope of controversy due to environmental concerns.

Crux of the Matter
  • Germany’s Siemens Mobility made an agreement with India’s Adani group to provide signaling technology for Adani’s coal mine in Queensland in Australia.
  • The coal mine has been criticized because excessive usage of coal leads to the release of large amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a phenomenon that is adding to the worrisome global warming.
  • Siemens’ decision comes at a time when Australia is engulfed in bushfires.
  • Global environmental activists, including Greta Thunberg, criticized Siemens’ decision.
  • “While I do have a lot of empathy for environmental matters, I do need to balance different interests of different stakeholders, as long as they have lawful legitimation for what they do,” said Siemens’ CEO Joe Kaeser.
  • Environmentalists staged a protest against Seimens outside Seimens’ Munich headquarters.

Carmichael Coal Mines – The mine is proposed by Adani Mining, a wholly-owned subsidiary of India’s Adani Group. It has drawn immense controversy about its claimed economic benefits, its financial viability, plans for government subsidies and the damaging environmental impacts. Broadly, these have been described as its potential impact upon the Great Barrier Reef, groundwater at its site and its carbon emissions. The emissions from burning the amount of coal expected to be produced from this one mine, whether sourced from it or elsewhere, would, in a “worst-case” scenario be, approximately 0.53-0.56% of the carbon budget that remains after 2015. More Info

Australia Battling Massive Wildfires And Extreme Temperatures

Australia is facing scorching temperatures and out-of-control bushfires throughout the country, that increase the risk for pyrocumulonimbus clouds — also known as ‘fire clouds’. Every state in Australia has nearly crossed 40-degree celsius temperature.

Crux of the Matter
  • The fires in Australia are growing and have become so massive and powerful that they’re creating their own dangerous weather phenomenon. It is happening through the formation of “pyrocumulonimbus” clouds — what NASA calls ‘the fire-breathing dragon of clouds.’ These fire-induced storms bring little rain but are packed with lightning that can spark new fires.
  • Pyro-cumulonimbus clouds have developed to altitudes over 16km in East Gippsland 
  • Temperatures near Sydney have nearly reached 44 degrees celsius.
  • In the town of Mallacoota, around 4,000 residents fled toward the beachside as winds pushed an emergency-level wildfire towards their homes.
  • Many communities have cancelled New Year’s fireworks celebrations, but Sydney’s popular display over its iconic harborfront has not been cancelled.
  • Across the state of Victoria over 2,00,000 hectares of land has already been burnt in the fires.
  • More than 1,000 homes have been destroyed since the blazes began in September. At least 2,000 firefighters are currently battling the fires.
  • NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said, “We’ve got some deteriorating weather conditions over the coming days.”
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, “We are expecting more difficult news out of New South Wales and Victoria today as the assessments are undertaken of the terrible fires from yesterday and last night.”

The cumulonimbus flammagenitus cloudalso known as the pyrocumulonimbus cloud is a type of cumulonimbus cloud that forms above a source of heat, such as a wildfire, and may sometimes even extinguish the fire that formed it. The CbFg was named following the discovery in 1998, that extreme manifestations of this pyroconvection caused direct injection of large abundances of smoke from a firestorm into the lower stratosphere. It is the most extreme manifestation of a flammagenitus cloud. According to the American Meteorological Society’s Glossary of Meteorology, a flammagenitus is ‘a cumulus cloud formed by a rising thermal from a fire, or enhanced by buoyant plume emissions from an industrial combustion process.’ More Info

$184 Million Infrastructure Package for Rural Communities in Australia

Critical infrastructure upgrades that improve connectivity for rural and remote communities in Austalia’s Northern Territory will be brought forward under a $184 million package.

Crux of the Matter
  • The Liberal and Nationals Government in Australia has been working with states and territories to bring forward critical infrastructure projects across Australia to drive jobs, strengthen the economy and get people home sooner and safer.
  • The projects, which include the Outback Way, the Mango Industry Roads upgrades in Litchfield, and upgrades along the Adelaide River to Wadeye road corridor will provide better and more reliable freight links, and keep drivers safer on the Territory’s roads.
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison said delivering critical road projects sooner, as part of a $100 billion pipeline, the $184 million package was a key part of the Government’s plan for a stronger economy.
  • The Australian Government is investing heavily in key roads across the Territory that are vital to improved safety and supporting the economy through improved connectivity to the regions and to our markets.
  • “These projects will benefit the Territory’s economy by improving regional freight roads such as the Mango Industry Roads in Litchfield, as well as improving the quality of life for Territorians, including the many Indigenous communities, that live in remote regions of the Northern Territory”, according to Northern Territory Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Eva Lawler.

Project Funding: for upgrades on the Alice Springs to Darwin road corridor, including the Mango Industry Roads upgrades in Litchfield; Funding to flow immediately and over the next three years after previously being allocated beyond the forward estimates. The Australian Government contribution to the project is $43.5 million and the Northern Territory Government contribution is $10.8 million ($54.3 million brought forward).
$37.5 million for upgrades on the Outback Way

More Info