Landmark ruling holds promise for addressing climate change - Planet Ark Environmental Foundation

Landmark ruling holds promise for addressing climate change

By Liam Taylor  February 12th, 2019

A NSW judge has rejected a potential open-cut mine in the town of Gloucester due to the negative impact it would have on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Share

A NSW judge has rejected a potential open-cut mine in the town of Gloucester, NSW due to the negative impact it would have on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Chief Judge Brian Preston ruled the negative impacts of the mine outweighed its economic and other public benefits, primarily because it would increase greenhouse gas emissions at a time when they urgently need to be cut.

The mine was initially proposed and rejected by the NSW Independent Planning Commission in late 2017. In response, the company behind the proposed Rocky Hill mine, Gloucester Resources Limited, took the NSW Planning Minister to the Land and Environment Court to appeal the decision.

The company argued the development would provide economic development in the region, with the mine expected to create 170 jobs and produce 21 million tonnes of coal over 16 years. Judge Preston, however, ruled these benefits paled in comparison to the negative impact in terms of emissions, with the burning of this much coal expected to produce over two million tons of carbon dioxide.

 “The global problem of climate change needs to be addressed by multiple local actions to mitigate emissions,” Judge Preston said in his judgement. 

“… the emissions of the coal mine and its coal product will increase global total concentrations of [greenhouse gases] at a time when what is now urgently needed, in order to meet generally agreed climate targets, is a rapid and deep decrease in emissions.”

Many see the ruling as potentially influential in the approvals process for future fossil fuel projects, with Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie stating the court effectively ruled that coal “is bad for us”.

“If I was proposing to build a coal mine right now, I’d be feeling pretty nervous,” McKenzie said.

 

Positive Action

  • If you are a business-owner looking to decarbonise and reduce your own carbon footprint, check out the range of clean energy solutions offered by Planet Ark Power.
  • To stay up to date with the latest in climate science, follow the Climate Council, Australia’s leading climate change communications organisation.

 

Subscribe to Positive Environment News
Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.

Share

By Liam Taylor

Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia. Joining the communications team at Planet Ark, he hopes to inspire positive environmental behaviour through effective and positive messaging.

Stay up to date

Whether you're looking for positive inspiration at home, at work or in the community you’ll find something in our suite of e-newsletters.