An Australian Court on Friday ruled against the development of a coal mine in New South Wales because of its potential as a climate change contributor.
The mine proposed, an open cut coal mine, is a process in which coal, closer to the surface, is extracted from the earth by its removal from an open pit much like a quarry rather than tunneling deep underground. Chief Judge Brian Preston said that planning impacts on the existing, approved and likely preferred land uses, the visual impacts, the amenity impacts of noise and dust that cause social impacts, other social impacts, and climate change impacts, outweigh the economic and other public benefits of such a project.
The court highlighted a number of Australian legislative measures with carbon reduction goals, as well as the global 2015 Paris Agreement, to which Australia is a party and has committed to making contributions to global average temperature reductions.
“The construction and operation of the mine, and the transportation and combustion of the coal from the mine, will result in the emission of greenhouse gases, which will contribute to climate change,” Preston wrote. “These dire consequences should be avoided. The Project should be refused.”