Climate policy most important than creating new workplaces
Court in Australia rejected Gloucester Resources Limited (GRL) appeal to build a new coal mine in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley. Originally GRL’s investment had been denied by New South Wale’s Minister for Planning, then the company appealed to the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales. As a main justification the Judge pointed out “significant adverse impacts” and “dire consequences” for the environment and greenhouse gas emissions.
It is a revolutionary judgment due to the fact that Australia is a country where coal mining plays a huge role in the industry and what is more important judgment also base mainly on the non-legal justification. Environmental aspects of the new coal mine project were superior over the economic ones, Judge mentioned issues as climate change contribution and scenic value of the area. In the whole case were involved scientists and analysts whose testimonies did matter. Precedent shows that according to the coal investments community costs of carbon emissions should be taken into consideration as well, no matter if it is a local emission or exported one. This judgment might have a huge impact on Australia’s industry and economy, not only the one connected with coal but also with another fossil fuels which might contribute to the climate change. Judgment’s opponents claim that main importers of Australian’s coal will not stop the coal consumption due to the fact that new coal mine project was banned, they will find another supplier, maybe even lower value coal what will lead into higher greenhouse gas emission.
Gloucester Resources Limited tries to find a way to bring their project into life and dismiss court’s decision but it seems like all the possibilities has been played.