This morning, the Australian Federal Court delivered a landmark judgement on climate change, marking an important moment in our history.
The class action case was brought on behalf of all Australian children and teenagers, against Environment Minister Sussan Ley.
Their aim was to prevent Ley from possibly approving the Whitehaven coal mine extension project, near Gunnedah in New South Wales. They argued that approving this project would endanger their future because of climate hazards, including causing them injury, ill health or death, and economic losses.
The court dismissed the application to stop the minister from approving the extension. But that’s just the beginning.
Before making those orders, the court found a new duty it never has before: the environment minister owes a duty of care to Australia’s young people not to cause them physical harm in the form of personal injury from climate change.