Young Australians win world-first judgement on coal

Eight months after it was filed, a class action led by a group of young Australians, aged 13 to 17, has won in Federal Court against Federal Environment Minister, Sussan Ley. Instead of being filed under environmental law, the class action falls under common law duty of care.

The ruling found that the minister was violating her duty of care to future generations after she approved the Vickey Coal Mine extension back in 2020

Bianca Hogeveen, Young Democrats 

Although attempts to secure an injunction have been impeded for now, the recognition from Federal Court that the minister does have a duty of care to young people from harm caused by climate change is incredibly encouraging. The win also comes hours after multinational oil and gas company, Shell was ordered by Dutch federal court to deepen its greenhouse emissions reductions to 45% by 2030.

These victories represent a growing, global movement towards meaningful climate action, and we are inspired by the dedication of all young Australians who are stepping up and fighting for the future. The effects of climate change will create unprecedented economic and ecological challenges and be felt most deeply by young people across the world.

“This is a victory for young people everywhere. The case was about young people stepping up and demanding more from the adults whose actions are determining our future wellbeing. Our voices are powerful and I hope this case inspires more young people to push for stronger, faster and deeper cuts to carbon emissions… Our futures depend on it.”

Laura Kirwan, 17

Photo Max Phillips, Echo News

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