The formation of the so-called Stop Adani Alliance by a group of environmental organisations is a futile and cynical attention-seeking gesture.

The Carmichael coal mine project is going to proceed. That is a good thing for Central and Northern Queensland as well as the broader national economy. It is also very good news for tens of millions of people in India who will have access to energy for the first time as a result of the project.

Some simple statistics highlight the contribution that the Carmichael mine will make to quality of life for millions of citizens in India.

According to latest World Bank data, the average Indian citizen uses 765 KWh of electricity per year. The average Norwegian uses 23,326KWh, the average American 12,998 KWh and the average Australian uses 10,134 KWh per year.

In other words, the individual members of the Stop Adani Alliance, including Bob Brown, use 13 times more electricity than the average Indian citizen but are happy to deny them additional sources of energy.

Put another way, in an average year, the individual members of the Stop Adani Alliance use more electricity before the end of January than an average Indian citizen will use in a year.

The comparison is even starker when made with Indian regions where electricity needs are most acute.

In the Indian region of Bihar, which is home to more than 100 million people, the average citizen in Bihar uses half as much electricity in a year than the refrigerator in the offices of the Stop Adani Alliance member, the Australian Conservation Foundation.

Former Greens leader Bob Brown told ABC radio this morning that Indian citizens without electricity should be forced to rely on renewables like solar energy. That is a cruel hoax. Given that renewables currently provide about 5 per cent of India’s electricity needs that solution would mean hundreds of millions more Indians without access to any electricity.

For the millions of Indians the Stop Adani Alliance wants to condemn to energy poverty, lack of access to electricity means poor health and sanitation outcomes, limited basic household amenities, and the need to rely on solid fuels for cooking – fuels which emit noxious fumes with major adverse health and environmental impacts.

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