Dear Mr Kaeser,
As a company committed to health and sustainability, Siemens’ decision to provide rail signalling for the Adani coal mine is deeply disappointing. We, the undersigned, urge you to restore our trust in your company by reconsidering your decision on the Adani contract. The world does not need another coal mine. Coal is a major contributor to climate change, which the health sector has determined to be the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.
The World Medical Association, representing 112 medical organisations, has declared climate change a public health emergency and has called for carbon neutrality by 2030. Other health organisations and medical colleges around the world have also spoken out.
Climate change is already affecting the world. The unprecedented fires in Australia, which have directly impacted over half of the population, underscore the health threat posed by a heat-charged climate. Last year we saw droughts in Germany, fires in California, heatwaves that killed 57 people and hospitalised 18,000 in Japan, heatwaves in Britain which accounted for an extra 900 premature deaths and the loss of glaciers throughout the Swiss Alps.
Collectively they highlight how climate change will have both direct health impacts but also disrupt ecological systems that our health is dependent on. At the same time, coal combustion is a major contributor to the 7 million deaths from air pollution annually.
To avert a climate catastrophe, we must rapidly reduce our carbon emissions, which are still rising, at a rate of 7.6% per annum over the next decade if we are to meet our 1.5°C target.
The challenge is great, but it is doable if the global community works together to rapidly decarbonize. All parties, including the business sector, have a role to play.
In outlining your case to support the mine you highlighted the considerations that lead to your decision including environmental approval, statements from the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matthew Canavan on public support for the project and the indigenous perspective. In rebuttal, consider:
• The overwhelming majority of people in Australia oppose the development of the Adani mine;
• 12 billion litres of water a year will be taken from the Suttor River for the mine’s use when vast tracts of the state of Queensland are in drought. The government failed to properly consider the environmental impact on water;
• The Queensland government has stripped native title over Aboriginal land to make way for the mine, effectively making the indigenous Wangan and Jagalingou people trespassers on their own Country.
This year marks the turning point when we must reduce our emissions rapidly. Siemens with its own strong emissions reduction target should be leading on this issue which will have profound impacts on the global community.
We call on Siemens to do the right thing and end its association with Adani and its climate-wrecking coalmine. By doing so, you will be working with health professionals to protect the health of present and future generations; not against us.
List of signatures:
Doctors for the Environment Australia
Climate and Health Alliance
Australian Lesbian Medical Association
KLUG – Deutsche Allianz Klimawandel und Gesundheit e.V.
FrAktion Gesundheit at the chamber of physicians, Berlin
Verein demokratischer Ärztinnen und Ärzte
IPPNW Ärzt*innen für die Verhütung des Atomkrieges, Ärzt*innen in sozialer Verantwortung, Deutsche Sektion
AEGU Ärztinnen und Ärzte für eine Gesunde Umwelt
PSR Physicians for Social Responsibility
CAPE Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
One Health Alliance, Alliance Suisse des professions de santé pour une planète saine
Læger for Klimaet /Doctors for Future Denmark
Centre for Sustainable Healthcare
People First Collective India
Health Care without Harm
International Society of Doctors for the Environment
Global Climate and Health Alliance
What you can do
The Siemens Board will be meeting on 5 February 2020 in Munich. Email Siemens’ CEO and Board members and urge them to reconsider their support for Adani. Our health and the health of the planet does not need another coal mine adding fuel to the climate emergency.