Australian court strikes down landmark climate ruling

Posted: March 15, 2022 by oldbrew in Accountability, climate, government, Legal
Tags: ,

Lots of coal in Australia

Goodbye landmark. Yet another attempt to use the courts to try to establish the myth that governments can somehow control the climate bites the dust, for now at least.
– – –
An Australian court on Tuesday threw out a landmark legal ruling that the country’s environment minister had a duty to protect children from climate change, reports

Last year’s legal win by a group of high school children had been hailed by environmental groups as a potential legal weapon to fight fossil fuel projects.

But the federal court found in favour of an appeal by Environment Minister Sussan Ley, deciding she did not have to weigh the harm climate change would inflict on children when assessing the approval of new fossil fuel projects.

The judgement overturned a July 2021 ruling by a lower court that found the minister had a duty to “avoid causing personal injury or death” to under 18s due to “emissions of carbon dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere”.

Anjali Sharma, 17, who launched the legal action in 2020, said the minister’s successful appeal had left the students “devastated”.

“Two years ago, Australia was on fire; today, it’s underwater. Burning coal makes bushfires and floods more catastrophic and more deadly. Something needs to change,” she said.

Izzy Raj-Seppings, 15, said the court had accepted that young people would “bear the brunt of the impacts of the climate crisis”, which she described as an important step in climate litigation.

However, the federal court found emissions from the mine at the centre of the case—Whitehaven’s Vickery coal mine—posed only a “tiny increase in risk” to the students.

Minister Ley welcomed the verdict.

Full report here.

  1. […] Australian court strikes down landmark climate ruling […]

  2. ilma630 says:

    One must ask of course, what harm? I mean, when was the last time atmospheric CO2 injured or killed anyone, let alone an under-18? To Anjali Sharma, Izzy Raj-Seppings, etc., I would say, go and study history. To the federal court I would say, unless you can actually and objectively measure that “tiny increase in risk” in isolation, it cannot be claimed there is one.

  3. oldbrew says:

    Any risk from CO2 increase is theoretical only. Plants and vegetation welcome CO2 increase.

  4. JB says:

    And children shall rule them…

  5. Chaswarnertoo says:

    I quite agree. CO2 is dangerously low and we would be better to leave our grandchildren about 1000 ppm in the air.

  6. They wrote:
    But while the federal judge ruled the government must take into account the damage the project would do to the group’s health, wealth and well being, he rejected their calls for an injunction to stop the project outright.

    Where is the rulings that consider the harm that has been caused, worldwide, in the Western Countries only, caused by the move to “so called greener energy”. In February 2021, during a freeze, that was not as severe as others freezes I recall, most of the whole state of Texas had major outages of electricity and downtown Houston had water outages, Major Downtown Hospitals had no water supply. My electricity and water was out for days, in the Southeast edge of Houston. People in Texas died during that Freeze, simply due to the shift to green energy, fossil fuel used to keep the power on during much worse cold events than this. Power outages in winter, without a Hurricane or Tornado, is a new disaster caused by the shift to “so called greener energy”. Where are the students that can justify that. They will not live long enough to see the harm caused by more CO2, in fact none has ever been proved. They quote “EXPERTS” who have NO KNOWLEDGE OF NATURAL CAUSES OF CLIMATE CHANGE, IN FACT, NO ONE IS EVEN STUDYING THAT! Ask them what caused the major ice ages to start and end, the standard answer is “NO ONE KNOWS”.
    Wind and solar fields and natural gas sources are located far from the major population centers that need the energy and the grids that carry the energy, including electrical power and gas pipelines are more and more exposed to natural or human disasters and are easy victims of accidental or on purpose harm. The whole northeast of the USA was without power, a few years ago, Grids are so big and fragile now that a problem any where in the grid can take out the whole thing. A few years ago, a major pipeline in the US was taken our by a ransomware hacker.
    Each region needs reliable, affordable, in the region, nuclear and fossil fuel power that can power the region independently of issues in far away sections of a too complicated grid.
    I read that some want to connect the whole country together, in that somewhere there is excess power. Then an enemy could easily take power out for the whole country and we would be totally defenseless.

  7. Around the world, in regions that do not have reliable power, people who can afford it, have their own generators. It is like that, more and more here, I now have a generator that can power most of my house, purchased and installed, after my outage during the February freeze and many others I know have new generators. For the region, where is the economy of everyone having their own generator just because our grid has ceased to be reliable.
    Many people are getting solar panels and batteries, cost to them very low because of huge government subsidies, and every solar installation that puts power back into the grid, contributes to the rapidly growing instability of the grid, because it puts the reliable generators of power out of business.

  8. Phil Salmon says:

    Talking of coal …

    Bosnia is still using 5 steam engine trains built by Germany during WW2. They haul coal from a mine to a power station. Designed to last 10 years, these engines are still going strong 80 years later.

  9. oldbrew says:

    ‘Burning coal makes bushfires and floods more catastrophic and more deadly.’

    Hogwash. Or show us the empirical evidence – not failing climate models.

  10. Graeme No.3 says:

    From The Australian – Spooner on the East Coast floods
    Also go back 2 cartoons.

    [mod] subscribers only

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