The head of German industrial giant Siemens says he was unaware “until recently” about the contract signed by his company to build rail infrastructure for Adani’s controversial coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
In a form letter emailed in response to thousands of protesting emails, Siemens global CEO Joe Kaiser says he was not aware of the contract with Adani, “likely given the relatively very small number of the rail singling business associated with it. But maybe I should have.”
Siemens is an industrial giant that boasts annual revenues of more than $A134 billion, with much of its business focused towards renewables and other enabling technologies such as hydrogen electrolysers. It recently formed a joint venture with Spanish wind group Gamesa.
The group employs more than 2,000 people in Australia. The Adani contract will provide work for “several dozen” according to reports.
Kaiser says in his email that he will “look into the matter diligently”, but does not indicate whether this will or will not change Siemen’s view and decision.
The company was targeted by the environmental groups since announcing the contract last week, including from the Stop Adani campaign, the Australian Conservation Foundation, Friends of the Earth, and Market Forces, which targets business groups.
“So far, 61 companies have publicly declared that they will not work on the Carmichael project,” Market Forces wrote last week.
“Any company associated with this climate-wrecking project faces massive reputational risks including being the target of the immense public opposition to Adani’s Carmichael project; risks that are not worth taking as responsible companies turn their backs on coal.”
Greens leader Richard Di Natale said the company risked damaging its global reputation over a “dangerous project”.
Kaiser’s letter, shared by a RenewEconomy reader, and originally sent from Kaeser’s email address, says:
Thank you for your mails addressing your concerns on Siemens delivering rail infrastructure for the Adani project in Australia.
I have not been aware of the matter until most recently. Likely given the relatively very small number of the rail signaling business associated with it. But maybe I should have.
I take your concerns seriously and will look into the matter diligently. This may or may not change Siemens’ view and decision, but all of you who have respectfully spoken up on the matter deserve at least an answer and an explanation.
I will get back to you in due time.
Thank you again for speaking up.
Update: ACF campaigner Christian Slattery said in a later statement that Kaeser is right to ask questions about Siemens Australia’s decision to provide rail signalling services for Adani’s climate-wrecking coal mine.
“Any company that cares about its reputation would rule out working on Adani’s plans to exploit the Galilee Basin, one of the largest proposed expansions of coal mining on Earth. By working with Adani, Siemens undermines its claim to be a company that cares about sustainability and climate action.
“Adani’s coal mine is simply not compatible with the urgent need to reduce global climate pollution.”