Media release

Australian lawyers raise serious concerns with Siemens CEO about Adani breaches

February 03, 2020

Just days before the Siemens AGM in Germany, Australian experts in environmental law and corporate accountability have written to the President and CEO of Siemens, Mr Joe Kaeser, bringing serious concerns about the Adani group’s terrible track record of failure to comply with environmental laws to his attention. The lawyers have written on behalf of community client Coast and Country. [1]

Mr Kaeser recently responded to global public outcry about Siemens decision to enter into a contract with Adani to help build its rail line for the controversial Carmichael Coal Mine by publicly stating “given the importance of legitimate environmental concerns, we have secured the right to pull out of the contract if our customer violates the very stringent environmental obligations.”

Lawyers at Environmental Justice Australia and Environmental Defenders Office have written to Mr Kaeser on behalf of the client, detailing serious concerns about numerous findings and allegations of breaches of the law by the Adani group, and offered to brief the company.

They have raised the pending prosecution by a Queensland State Government regulator, the Department of Environment and Science, against Adani for allegedly providing false or misleading documents to the State Government with respect to their activities at the Carmichael Mine site, which is next due in court on 6 February 2020, the day after Siemens AGM.

The lawyers have said that Adani could lose its ability to operate in Queensland if the company is convicted of providing false or misleading documents to the State Government and that this serious offence carries a penalty of up to $2,838,375 for the company.

Environmental Defenders Office Brisbane Executive Director and Lawyer Jo-Anne Bragg said:
“We are bringing these matters to the attention of Siemens’ CEO, on behalf of our client in the public interest. Mr Kaeser has made it clear that Siemens are particularly interested in Adani’s compliance with environmental obligations. Unfortunately, the Adani group has a track record of failures when it comes to compliance with environmental laws. These are matters on the public record, and it is important that Mr Kaeser is made aware of them so Siemens can be fully informed when considering their decision to contract with the Adani.”

Environmental Justice Australia Senior Lawyer Ariane Wilkinson said:
“The evidence shows that the Adani group has a shocking environmental record, and these are matters that are relevant to both government decision makers, and corporate entities who are considering their relationship with the company and the Carmichael Coal Mine. It is in the public interest for these matters to attract appropriate scrutiny both by regulators and by directors of corporations undertaking their due diligence.”

A copy of the letter to CEO Kaeser can be found here.

[1] Business Services of Coast and Country Inc.

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