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Commentary: Coal miners derided climate action 'sideshow'. Now it's the main event

Author: David Morris & Brendan Dobbie, NSW Environmental Defenders Office, on Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), Published on: 15 February 2019

"Coal miners derided climate action 'sideshow'. Now it's the main event", 11 Feb 2019

The nascent field of climate litigation in Australia came of age on Friday. The Chief Judge of the NSW Land and Environment Court, Brian Preston, delivered a landmark judgment refusing to approve a new coal mine because of its impacts on climate change. In the Chief Judge’s words, the mine proposal was in the wrong place at the wrong time...

The ramifications are likely to ripple out across Australia and possibly the world. This is climate litigation writ large...

...[W]hat his judgment says about climate change is of greatest significance. The court accepted the evidence put by Professor Will Steffen about the global carbon budget – that is, there is a limit on the amount of fossil fuels that can be burnt if we are to meet the Paris Agreement targets and avoid dangerous climate change...

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