Court upholds refusal of coal mine

The NSW Court of Appeal (NSWCA) has dismissed an appeal from a decision of the Land and Environment Court of NSW (LEC) brought by KEPCO Bylong Australia Pty Ltd (KEPCO). The appeal (and earlier judicial review proceedings) primarily concerned the application and construction of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) 2007 (the Mining SEPP). Both judgments make important contributions to the growing body of jurisprudence in the area of climate change-related litigation and affirm the broad discretion of planning authorities in assessing climate change impacts. Read more

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