A Queensland court has found the plans of a company owned by Clive Palmer to dig Australia’s largest thermal coalmine in central Queensland infringe upon the human rights of future generations, in landmark climate case.
The Queensland land court’s president, Fleur Kingham, said the case was not about whether any new coalmine should be approved, but “whether this coalmine should be approved on its merits”.
“This coal is a public resource owned by the state to be exploited, or not, for the public good,” she said on Friday morning. “Climate change was a key issue in this hearing.”
Kingham said the 1.58 gigatonnes of carbon emissions that would be produced would pose an “unacceptable” risk of climate crisis for Queensland people.
The mine would make a significant dent in Australia’s carbon budget under the Paris agreement, Kingham found, and it would infringe upon the human rights of First Nations Queenslanders as well as the owners of a private nature reserve, the Bimblebox, whose ecological value would be “seriously and possibly irreversibly damaged by the mine.
[Joe Hinchliffe and Ben Smee]