Author: Robert Pritchard, Energy Policy Institute of Australia

Key Points

  •  An environmental court in New South Wales has found that the greenhouse gas emissions of a new coal mining project, even the future emissions from offshore combustion of the coal that is exported by the project, constitute a valid ground for refusing development consent because they will cause the climate to change.
  • The finding is illusory, if not false.
  • The finding poses an obstacle to all future coal mining projects and all other projects in NSW that may directly or indirectly give rise to significant emissions.
  • The finding is likely to encourage opponents of climate change in other countries to consider legal action as a tool in the global campaign against climate change beyond whatever commitments their government may have made under the Paris Agreement.
  • The finding brings upheaval to domestic energy and climate policy in Australia. It may warrant a re-examination by all governments of their energy and climate policies in the context of their bilateral and multilateral commitments.

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What's New

Policy Paper 3/21 "Electricity generation and emissions reduction in Australia: we need a coherent policy to foster technology development and investment" (Aug 2021)

Author: Stephen Anthony is the Chief Economist at Macroeconomics Advisor

pdf graphicClick here to download the paper


Policy Paper 2/21 "The Shell Decision: An International Legal Nightmare for the Energy Industry" (Aug 2021)

Author: Robert Pritchard, Energy Policy Institute of Australia

pdf graphicClick here to download the paper 


Policy Papers

Public Policy Papers: A compendium of Key Points (to August 2021) 

Since May 2013 the Institute has published 29 Public Policy Papers.

pdfClick here to view the compendium of key points.