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Impact of Australian Coal Mining Companies on Environment: Persuasive Essay

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Australia is among the world’s largest coal exporters (Engelfried, 2018), and Adani is one of the biggest coal mining companies. Coal mining is an activity that brings a significant source of income into the Australian economy; however, there are many environmental impacts associated with it. The operations of Adani mine in Townsville is of significant concern to residents because it will affect the city’s natural ecosystem and environment.

Adani mining infrastructure may be a source of drought in their neighbouring areas as it uses a lot of water during mining, and they use more water to clean their mined materials. They use underground water that is to be used by farmers; therefore, crops die, and surrounding water tables shrink. For instance, Adani coal mines in Central Queensland uses approximately 12.5 billion litres of water per year (Slezak, 2018). If only there were no mining in the area, then the crops would grow well, and there would not be a shortage of water leading to drought (Windsor, 2019). Therefore, Adani’s coal mining must be minimised for the sake of the environment.

Coal mining release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change and consequently disrupts the ecosystem. Coal is a fossil fuel, and it emits greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that cause global warming (ETH Zurich;, 2019). Global warming is the most significant driver of climate change. Adani mines are some of the largest coal mines in Australia, and it releases about 4.7 billion tonnes of carbon pollution over its lifetime (Australian Marine Conservation Society). Its continuous operation will continue to spike temperature levels in Australia, which is already the sunniest continent on earth. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology reported that the summer of 2018- 2019 was hottest on record, which also led to droughts and heatwaves (Doyle, 2019).The climate changes will continue to cause unprecedented heatwaves, increase drought periods and incidences of catastrophic bush fires which are already a massive crisis.

Adani’s mining activities release gases that contribute to air, land and water pollution in the regions surrounding the mines. Coal releases methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and they are both greenhouse gases (NSW Government). Firstly, a combination of these gases released from coal mining when dissolved, they cause in acidic rains which are corrosive. Acidic rains affect vegetation by discouraging growth. Secondly, the gases pollute the air affecting the quality of air that human beings and animals breathe, leading to health issues. Finally, mining uses chemicals during the mining processes, the chemicals from mines that are close to water sources contaminate water bodies and destroy marine life (Australian Marine Conservation Society). The aquatic organisms at the Great Barrier Reef are endangered as they have nowhere else to go once the water is polluted. The directly and indirectly affected communities need to take action to combat the rate at which the environment is being polluted.

Adani attracts many jobseekers, thereby causing high demand for accommodation in its mining regions. People start land clearance to pave the way for constructions in the areas, thus destroying nature. Deforestation and destruction of animal habitat are imminent as mining activities attract more people to the mining regions. Moreover, when the minerals are finished in that area, they abandon the area leaving it exposed with infertile soil, unable to recover. Many animals lost their habitat due to this Adani Carmichael coal mines, especially the marine habitat. Residents of mining towns and cities can expect further land clearance and deforestation as mining activities increase.

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People are not taking the effects of mining seriously because they are blinded by money. Coal mining is a source of income, so it is definitely impossible to stop coal mining, but we can definitely reduce the adverse effects of coal mining on the environments. To do so, firstly, every individual must take part in solving this crisis because these effects affect us all as Australians. The following recommendations describe how can minimise the extent to which Adani’s mining activities affect Australia.

Firstly, as we cannot stop the mining, it would be better if local and federal governments work with mining companies, environmental sustainability advocates and unions covering mine workers to enforce measures against pollution. When companies finish mining, they should adequately fill in the mines and make sure that they eliminate all contaminants and ensure proper disposal of chemicals. This will increase that probability of vegetation recovery after mines shutdown. The government should also follow up on reports of dumped toxic wastes to prevent people from repeatedly abandoning mining sites unattended and unsafe for local inhabitants. Furthermore, they must enforce laws on the acceptable yearly carbon footprints by Adani coal mines and thoroughly audit their sustainability reports.

Secondly, deforestation can only be prevented if we cooperate with one goal, and that is to save all life. I want to recommend the following procedures that could either control deforestation or prevent it. Australian towns and cities around Adani coal mines must minimise deforestation to realise the Australian dream of owning stand-alone properties with huge backyards. Instead, the local councils must invest in building apartments and high rise buildings to accommodate the increasing populations of people attracted by mines.

Trees and vegetation are the most important because they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which is one of the greenhouse gases that cause climate changes. They also remove pollutants, so they are highly essential in this crisis. Trees are also able to reduce heat by five to eight degrees; therefore, they play an indispensable role. In that case, we must educate people on the importance of trees and practice reafforestation and afforestation. Besides, Adani must have an obligatory commitment to afforestation and reafforestation by having departments that are dedicated to planting trees and vegetation around their mining communities. If we are unable to reduce any other effects of coal mining, then tree planting will be our only hope.

Thirdly, people are to be educated on climate change and its effects on the environment. In that case, using renewable energy sources should be promoted so that we control the number of fossil fuels needed because they release greenhouse gases. Using renewable energy is cheaper than using fossil fuels. This can be done through public campaigns, public speaking and spreading the education to raise awareness about climate change and how renewable energy can replace the mining of fossil fuels. Climate change is already happening, and it will worsen over time if we do not take emergency action. Even if we decide to ignore it now, no one can escape climate changes when the as long as companies like Adani continue to mine coal at large scales.

Imagine how bad it will be in Australia with warmer summers than 2019, no marine life in the Great Barrier Reef, without kangaroos and koalas. The worst is yet to come if Adani continues to mine coal at such a large scale if we do not implement and enforce environmental sustainability measures. Mother Theresa said ‘We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.’ (Juma, 2020). If we help each other to prevent climate changes, air and environmental pollution even in smallest possible ways that reduce coal mining; we can survive together and preserve our ecosystems. It takes a collective effort of the community, Adani and the government to ensure that Australia’s future generations enjoy the living in favourable conditions. Let’s try our best and balance both making money from mining and protecting the environment and wildlife.


  1. Australian Marine Conservation Society. (n.d.). Fight for our Reef. Retrieved May 21, 2020, from Australian Marine Conservation Society:
  2. Doyle, K. (2019, February 28). Summer 2018-19 was hottest on record, BOM says, with little relief expected for autumn. ABC News.
  3. Engelfried, N. (2018). Educational Series: Australia’s Fires Are Burning Animals to Death. Animal Petitions.
  4. ETH Zurich;. (2019, February 20). The global impact of coal power. Phys Org.
  5. Juma, N. (2020, May 8). These Ocean Quotes Will Inspire Beauty And Depth. Everyday Power. Everday Power.
  6. NSW Government. (n.d.). Resources & Geoscience. Retrieved May 16, 2020, from NSW Government:
  7. Slezak, M. (2018, September 18). Adani plans to draw 12.5b litres of water and there will be no environmental impact statement. ABC News.
  8. Windsor, T. (2019, December 27). The Sydney Morning Herald. This drying continent can’t afford Adani’s pipeline to 12.5 billion litres of precious water.

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