BERLIN (AP) — The chief executive of Siemens said Friday that the German engineering company will review its involvement in a coal mine in Australia after climate activists called for it to pull out of the project.
The group Fridays for Future, which has held weekly protests demanding action against climate change for over a year, wants Siemens to quit the mine project because emissions from coal-fired power plants contribute to global warming.
Hundreds of the group’s supporters staged rallies outside Siemens offices across Germany and the Australian Embassy in Berlin on Friday.
After meeting with Fridays for Future representatives, Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser told reporters that the Munich-based company would decide by Monday what to do about its contract to supply signaling systems for a rail link between the Carmichael coal mine and a port.
The vast mine is owned by Indian company Adani, and the signals contract is worth about 18 million euros ($20 million) to Siemens.
Australia, which is currently battling massive wildfires following months of drought and above-average temperatures, is one of the world’s biggest coal exporters.
Kaeser praised the climate activists and said he offered an advisory position with Siemens’ energy division to one of Fridays for Future’s leading figures, Luisa Neubauer.
But Neubauer made clear that the group won’t back down from its demand for Siemens to cancel the Australian mine contract.
“We expect a clear commitment from Siemens to the Paris (accord’s) climate goals,” Neubauer said in a statement. “This can only mean a complete rejection of the Adani project.”