Australian court rejects coal mine on climate grounds

Posted: February 8, 2019 by oldbrew in climate, Emissions, Energy, Legal
Tags: , ,

Lots of coal in Australia

Are some judges being tempted into overstepping their roles in cases like this? If they are ‘calling climate scientists to testify’ as the report says, which climate scientists get invited? The ruling could yet be appealed.

An Australian court on Friday delivered a landmark ruling by rejecting plans to build a coal mine on the grounds it would worsen climate change, reports

Chief Justice Brian Preston said a planned open cut coal mine in a scenic part of New South Wales state would be in “the wrong place at the wrong time”.

The ruling by the New South Wales Land and Environment Court was notable for citing not only local impacts of building the proposed Gloucester Resources mine, but also secondary “climate change impacts” of the eventual use of the coal.

“It matters not that this aggregate of the Project’s GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions may represent a small fraction of the global total,” the justice said.

“Not every natural resource needs to be exploited.”

The case was unusual in referring to the 2015 Paris Agreement and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and calling climate scientists to testify.

Will Steffen, a noted climatologist, told the court that Australia’s average surface temperature had increased one degree centigrade over the last century.

Baker & McKenzie’s global head of climate law, Martijn Wilder, said the decision reinforced the trend in legal judgements around the world that directly link fossil fuels and climate change.

Continued here.

  1. oldbrew says:

    global head of climate law


  2. tallbloke says:

    I haven’t seen any open cast coal mines opening in the UK lately either…

  3. ivan says:

    The question that needs to be asked is ‘has the judge or any of his family banked any large sums of money lately?’ It is either that or the judge is a rabid green and is letting his inner green over ride logical thinking – but then isn’t that what all greens do?

    I also think we need to consider the Australian federal and state governments conviction that coal is evil (the SA government blew up a coal fired power plant saying it was unnecessary because they had wind power and look how well that worked – diesel generators anyone).

  4. erl happ says:

    If there were a court capable of hearing presentations from both sides of this climate debate and proceed to decide the issue on its merits, the judgement would be reversed. Let’s hope that there will be an appeal and that the proponents of the mine put in some effort to present the pro side of the argument.

  5. oldbrew says:

    One for the judges 😎

    Temps currently declining – see Met Office post:

  6. A C Osborn says:

    UN Agendas in Action.

  7. Climate change is something which may be harmful or beneficial. This is something judges are not qualified to decide and in the absence of legislation prohibiting coal mining they are not empowered to rule upon. It is likely to be overturned on appeal.

  8. hunter says:

    In the late stages of degeneracy the degenerate cannot be bothered to care for themselves or others.

  9. oldbrew says:

    Australia is exporting vast amounts of coal but a judge says it can’t use any at home? Bizarre.

  10. gallopingcamel says:

    We have a new “Green Deal” here in the USA announced by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (aka AOC) that has been publicly supported by four presidential candidates and at least 40 elected representatives.

    We are not talking about shutting down coal mines any more. This is about eliminating air travel by building railways……who needs to go to Hawaii or Europe?

    This is about closing down the fossil fuel industry and rebuilding every structure in the USA to cut down carbon emissions.

    You might be excused for thinking that April 1 came early this year but these people are deadly serious!

  11. oldbrew says:

    GC – This is about eliminating air travel by building railways

    Musk’s hyperloop is quicker anyway 😁

  12. stpaulchuck says:

    ivan says:
    February 8, 2019 at 11:40 am

    I had the same reaction when I read this, Ivan. If he’d have ruled on environmental issues of the mine itself harming the area, or some such, it could pass the smell test, but this AGW nonsense is not proven in the least as we’ve all noted from the actual science papers.

    And then how is this judge qualified to choose scientists to give evidence? Or to judge the testimony presented? It appears he’s gone outside the purview of the suit and if not then where’s all the discovery evidence? Typical ‘greenies’ in action IMAO.

  13. dscott says:

    Related in terms of bureaucratic incompetence when it comes to coal:

    The Obvious Biomass Emissions Error

    One of the largest industrial emitters of carbon dioxide in Europe is the Drax power plant in North Yorkshire, England. The Drax plant produces 3,900 megawatts of electricity, about 6 percent of the UK’s electricity supply. This formerly coal-fired station consumed 36,000 metric tons of coal per day delivered by 35 coal trains each day.

    In the name of cutting CO2 emissions, four of the six Drax generating stations were converted to burn wood chips over the last seven years, at a cost of £700 million ($1 billion). Hailed as “the biggest decarbonization project in Europe,” this facility now consumes about 9 million tons of wood pellets per year, shipped 3,000 miles from the US and Canada.

    An estimated 4,600 square miles of forest are needed to feed the voracious Drax plant, with acres of forest felled each day. Replanted trees will take half a century to regrow. Despite the decarbonization claims, the CO2 emitted from the Drax plant is far greater today than when coal fuel was burned.

  14. oldbrew says:

    UK carbon capture project begins
    By Roger Harrabin

    “The Drax experiment is so ridiculously tiny it’s hard to believe it’s not ‘greenwash’.”

    Where is the captured CO2 going?

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