Sunday 12 January 2020 1:39 pm

Siemens offers climate activist role on board as firm makes Adani mine decision

The chief executive of engineering giant Siemens has offered a 23-year-old climate protestor a seat on one of its boards, as it prepares to make a decision on its involvement with a controversial Australian coal mine on Monday.

Joe Kaeser met with Lisa Neubauer, a prominent figure in Greta Thunberg’s “Fridays for Future” movement, last week and asked her to join the supervisory board of Siemens’ new energy division.

Read more: Siemens UK Juergen Maier announces early retirement

Neubauer has led protests against the new mine, which is being developed by India’s Adani in Queensland, and will produce eight to 10m tonnes of coal a year.

Siemens has an €18m (£15.3m) contract with Adani to provide signalling technology for the mine’s railway.

After her meeting, Neubauer, who reportedly refused the role, took to Twitter to call on Kaeser and Siemens to “rise up to their responsibility and withdraw from the Adani case.

“The world is on fire and all are asked to act accordingly”, she added.

Kaeser has been an advocate of youth climate protestors, and has called for companies to do more to help avert the oncoming climate crisis.

In December he tweetd that he would look into concerns around Adani, saying he had not been aware of them before.

Read more: Coal powered generation set for record fall in 2019

“Siemens ‘ view and decision may or may not change”, he added: “But you deserve an answer.”

Siemens Energy, which comprises Siemens’ current fossil-fuel and renewable energy and electricity divisions, will become an independent entity in April and is expected to list in September.