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Australian Judge Rejects Coal Mine on Climate Grounds

Author: Karen Savage, Climate Liability News (US), Published on: 8 February 2019

In a landmark decision, an Australian court on [8 February 2019] rejected a plan to build an open-cut coal mine because of the proposed mine’s harmful effects on climate change…

The decision stopped a controversial plan by Gloucester Resources Limited to build its proposed Rocky Hill coal mine just outside Gloucester, a town of about 3,000 people. The proposed mine would have extracted up to 2 million tons of coal a year for the next two decades. The mine, first proposed nearly a decade ago, was rejected by the New South Wales Planning Assessment Commission in December 2017, but Gloucester Resources was allowed to appeal.

The Environmental Defenders Office of New South Wales, which represented the community group Groundswell Gloucester during a hearing last August, argued that the mine was detrimental to the interests of the surrounding community, would worsen climate change and would prevent Australia from meeting the emissions targets it promised to the Paris Climate Agreement…The court agreed, ruling that even though the mine would contribute only a fraction of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, any contribution to a worsening climate was enough to halt the project…

Gloucester Resources did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Chief Operating Officer Brian Clifford said he is disappointed and the company is reviewing its options. The decision is anticipated to have widespread ramifications for future fossil fuel projects…

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Related companies: Gloucester Resources