Adani says attacks have turned 'vicious and personal'
ADANI'S chairman Gautam Adani says the attacks against him have become vicious and personal, and assisted by green groups, opponents and the media.
In a rare speech at a New Delhi business conference, Mr Adani said he believed in climate change and accepted it was a challenge, but argued the $21 billion project would replace a part of the poorer quality domestic coal being burnt in India and help bring power to 18,000 villages.
"However, in recent years our project has faced intense resistance, abetted by some international Non-Government Organisations and competitors who have turned to vicious personal attacks and used the press to their advantage," he said.
Mr Adani said there was a need for a cleaner energy base but renewable energy technologies were not currently ready to provide uninterrupted base-load power.
"The fact is that it is our responsibility to get electricity to the Indian child who needs to light that single bulb to educate himself," he said
Galilee Blockade spokesman Ben Pennings hit back at the criticism from Mr Adani and said his group was representing the views of Queenslanders.
"Gautam Adani should stop whingeing and leave our democracy alone," Mr Pennings said. "The Stop Adani movement represents a clear majority of Queenslanders, with NGOs just representing their members."
The company has come under attack recently from Labor leader Bill Shorten who appears to be moving the Opposition to oppose the project, despite earlier conditional support.
Green groups have also increased their attacks on the company, with several activists arrested for stopping trains on the freight line to the Adani-owned Abbot Point coal terminal.
A major issue for Adani is that renewable energy in India is now cheaper than existing coal-fired energy.
Mr Adani said in India there were 300 million citizens who lacked access to power and the country was one of the lowest emitters of carbon-dioxide on a per capita basis.
The Adani group was "aggressively pushing renewable energy" and had featured as one of the top 15 renewable players in the world, he said.
The group's planned investments in Australia, Mr Adani said, were the largest overseas greenfield investment ever by any Indian company.
He said India had GDP growth rates of more than 7 per cent and it was anticipated that it would become the world's third largest economy by 2030, and second largest by 2050.
"India now stands on the cusp of explosive growth that, barring the US and China, no nation in modern history has witnessed," Mr Adani said at the Shri Ram College of Commerce Business Conclave.
Mr Pennings said in 2016, India drew 44 per cent of its new energy production capacity from renewable sources.
"Adani is a big part of that renewables surge," he said. "It's time they cut their losses in coal rather than ask Australian taxpayers to bail them out."