Trends in climate litigation – continued focus on disclosure, portfolio analysis, and role of individual activities in broader climate impacts

The settlement this week of Mr McVeigh’s proceeding against REST has underlined management of climate risk and TCFD-aligned disclosure as growing issues for institutional investors. Other recent developments include a further post-approval challenge to a coal mine, asserting that new expert evidence regarding climate change impacts on the Great Barrier Reef should be taken into account to revoke the approval decision and prosecution for import of synthetic greenhouse gas where a single offence attracted an agreed penalty of $500,000. Read more

Young Australians bring climate claims against the Australian government

A group of Australian teenagers has filed a class action against the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment, and is seeking an injunction to prevent the Minister approving a proposed coal mine expansion. The claim alleges that approving the mine would breach the Minister’s common law duty of care to young people. The case follows the recent landmark proceedings alleging that the Commonwealth and others failed to properly disclose information about climate change risks to prospective investors in government bonds. We provide a snapshot of the issues and implications of these proceedings. Read more

Consultation on the draft WA Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2020

After much anticipation, the WA State Government last week released for public consultation the draft Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2020. Submissions on the Draft Bill are due by 9 October 2020. Here we provide a brief snapshot of the Draft Bill and points for consideration in making a submission. Read more

EPBC Amendment Bill tabled to facilitate bilateral approval agreements

The Commonwealth Government has taken the first step in a staged approach to reform of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act). The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Streamlining Environmental Approvals) Bill 2020 (Cth) (EPBC Amendment Bill) was introduced to Parliament on 27 August 2020, largely reflective of reforms to … Read more