Government must protect youth from climate crisis

Youth need to be protected against future harm from climate change - Photo:bigstock.comYouth need to be protected against future harm from climate change - Photo:bigstock.com

The Federal Court has found Environment Minister Sussan Ley has a duty of care to protect young people from the climate crisis, in a world-first case brought by teenagers and a Catholic religious sister.

Eight teenagers and Sr Brigid Arthur CSB, acting as the teens' litigation guardian, had sought an injunction to prevent Ms Ley approving a proposal by Whitehaven Coal to expand the Vickery coalmine in northern New South Wales. They argued Ms Ley had a common law duty of care to protect younger people against future harm from climate change.

Justice Mordecai Bromberg agreed, finding Ms Ley had a duty of care to not act in a way that would cause future harm to younger people. But he did not grant the injunction as he was not satisfied the Minister would breach her duty of care.

Columban Peace, Ecology and Justice Team's around the world are working to protect future generations from the damage of climate change and work with youth to to develop environmental skills by teaching them to pay more attention to the actions in their daily lives and how these actions can help to save the planet not only for their future but for generations after them.

David Barnden, a lawyer representing the children, said it was a historic and “amazing decision” with potentially significant consequences.

Whitehaven Coal had a different interpretation of the judgment. In a statement to the stock exchange, it did not mention the duty of care finding, and said it welcomed the court dismissing the teenagers’ attempt to block Ms Ley from approving the mine extension.

Columban Peace, Ecology and Justice Team's around the world are working to protect future generations from the damage of climate change and work with youth to to develop environmental skills by teaching them to pay more attention to the actions in their daily lives and how these actions can help to save the planet not only for their future but for generations after them.

 

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