From 9:00 AM on Thursday morning dozens of people from Extinction Rebellion UK protested outside Siemens London office, staging a ‘crime scene’, following the company’s decision to continue providing railway signalling services to the Adani coal mine in Queensland, Australia.
Wearing forensic suits and red gloves, protestors in costume as ‘police officers’ created a police cordon around the entrance to the building while ‘victims’ dressed in black lay on the ground. A banner was dropped from a window in the building saying ‘Climate Change Kills Children’ while another bears the words ‘Siemens = Climate Criminals’.
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The Adani development has the potential to produce enough coal to cause more than 705 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year – about 1.3 times Australia’s total current emissions. If even half that was produced it would result in emissions larger than those of most nations.
Siemens signed a contract to provide railway signalling services in October last year but CEO Joe Kaesner reconsidered the decision after coming under pressure from young people all over the world. He conveyed his “deepest sympathy and condolences to the ones, who have lost relatives and friends or their homes, livelihoods or were injured by the terrible bushfires in Australia” and said that protecting the planet was “mostly about leadership” but said he needed “to balance different interests of different stakeholders, as long as they have lawful legitimation for what they do”.
Lorna Greenwood, a mother of two, said: “If Siemens supports the Adani coal mine it’ll be a stain on their history forever.”
Protests are also happening for a second time at Australian embassies and Siemens offices around the world. Protests have taken place in over 40 countries from Argentina to Zambia. The fires in Australia continue to cause untold damage to life and property and have already led to what scientists are describing as an ecosystem and species apocalypse in Australia. Some estimates state that up to 700 animal species have had their populations decimated – with many species likely to be pushed to extinction including the Long-footed potaroo, the Greater glider, the Kangaroo Island dunnart, and the Black-tailed dusky antechinus.
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