India's former environment minister says he's appalled by Australia's decision to approve Adani's massive new coal mine in Queensland, and has questioned the Indian miner's environmental track record.

Jairam Ramesh has told the ABC the mine will threaten the survival of the Great Barrier Reef, and Adani's record in environmental management in India "leaves a lot to be desired".

"And if it leaves a lot to be desired domestically, there's no reason for me to believe that Adani would be a responsible environmental player globally," he's told the broadcaster's Four Corners program.

Ramesh said the federal and Queensland governments had not properly looked at the Adani Group's environmental and financial conduct in India before approving the mine in the Galilee Basin.

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Jairam Ramesh says the Great Barrier Reef maybe in Australia but 'it's a common heritage of mankind, it belongs to the world'. Photo / Supplied
Jairam Ramesh says the Great Barrier Reef maybe in Australia but 'it's a common heritage of mankind, it belongs to the world'. Photo / Supplied

"I'm very, very surprised that the Australian Government, for whatever reason, has seen it fit to all along handhold Mr Adani he is not one of the shining stars of environmental stewardship," he said.

That Australia would consider giving concessional loans and other financial breaks to Adani was almost beyond belief given the consequences for climate change, he said.

"You're giving a tax break to a project that is actually going to have adverse environmental consequences, which will have multiplying effects on weather patterns in the region, across the world. I find it bizarre," he said.

"The Great Barrier Reef happens to be in Australia, but it's a common heritage of mankind, it belongs to the world."

AAP has sought comment from Adani, and the federal and Queensland governments.

- AAP