May 16, 2024

Living Wonders appeal dismissal means it’s up to the Environment Minister to reject coal and gas 


16 May 2024: Climate action group 350 Australia says the court decision in the Living Wonders case shows that environment laws are broken and not able to deal with the climate crisis.

The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal in the ‘Living Wonders’ landmark climate litigation. The case was brought by the Environment Council of Central Queensland and challenged the Environment Ministers refusal to consider climate harm when assessing two large new thermal coal mining projects in NSW, Whitehaven Coal’s Narrabri Extension Project and MACH Energy’s Mount Pleasant coal mine expansion – projects that surpass the entirety of Australia’s domestic emissions.

Kelly Albion, Campaigns Director at 350 Australia said: “The Environment Minister has one job and that’s to protect the environment. This case has made it clear that Minister Plibersek needs to strengthen our environment laws to include a climate trigger and stop approving new coal and gas projects.

“The Great Barrier Reef is suffering from its worst ever coral bleaching and communities are still rebuilding from disastrous floods, fuelled by climate change. Is a dead Reef really the legacy Minister Plibersek wants?

“Stopping coal and gas projects that are making climate change worse and causing these disasters should be the Environment Minister’s top priority.

“Minister Plibersek’s response to this judgment must be fast tracking reforms to our national environment laws so that they can properly assess the climate impacts of projects and stop ones that will have a devastating impact on our climate, like new coal and gas.

“If the Albanese Government is serious about the climate crisis, they’ll get to work urgently fixing our broken environment laws so no new coal and gas projects are approved ever again.”