Forget The Children

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An Australian court overturned a landmark ruling this week that would have ordered the country’s environment minister to consider the impact climate change might have on children when approving energy projects, Al Jazeera reported.

The groundbreaking case began in 2020 when a group of secondary school students and a nun took Environment Minister Sussan Ley to court following her approval of the Whitehaven’s Vickery coal mine in the eastern state of New South Wales.

A judge ruled in July of that year that the minister must “avoid causing personal injury or death” to those under 18 due to the release of “emissions of carbon dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere” when considering such projects, according to Reuters.

But Ley appealed the decision and an appeals court dismissed the original ruling Tuesday. The three judges said that the original decision was too broad in scope and in its issuing of presumed liability.

The plaintiffs expressed disappointment at the verdict, adding that such a decision will impact the fight against climate change. Their lawyers said they will appeal.

Calls to take action against climate change have been growing in Australia following a series of devastating floods this month in the country’s east, and also the 2019-2020 bushfires that burned through millions of acres of agricultural land and forest and killed millions of creatures.

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