A climate change duty of care: Sharma v Minister for the Environment

The recent decision of Justice Bromberg in Sharma v Minister for the Environment [2021] FCA 560 found that a novel duty of care is owed by the Minister for the Environment to Australian children who might suffer potential “catastrophic harm” from the climate change implications of approving the extension to the Vickery coal mine in … Read more

Increasing expectations for climate change risk disclosure affecting businesses and financial services

Further statements from regulators and commentators reinforce the expectation that businesses will consider the materiality of climate change-related risks and disclose them accordingly. The obligations are not new, but rather the expected nature of action to satisfy existing obligations continues to evolve in relation to climate change. The expectations of financial services businesses in this … Read more

EPBC Act review – Final Report released

Professor Graeme Samuels has released the Final Report on the Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act), finding that Australia’s ‘current environmental trajectory is unsustainable’ and that the ‘EPBC Act is ineffective’. The Final Report proposes wide-ranging reforms, including the introduction of legally enforceable National Environmental Standards (NES), … Read more

WA Climate Policy Released

On 30 November 2020. the Western Australian Government released the long awaited ‘Western Australian Climate Policy: A plan to position Western Australian for a prosperous and resilient low-carbon future’. Read more

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