The court found deficiencies in the Resource Management Plans at issue that must be remedied, including failure to consider the indirect effects of downstream combustion of resources extracted from the planning areas, failure to quantify properly the magnitude of methane pollution by arbitrarily using outdated science, and failure to consider any alternative with less coal available for leasing.
A U.S. court blocked the proposed expansion of an underground coal mine because the environmental assessment (EA) lacked sufficient analysis of the indirect and cumulative impacts of coal transportation and coal combustion. The EA also improperly emphasized the benefits of additional coal mining to the local economy while ignoring the costs of anticipated greenhouse gas emissions from burning the coal.
Constitutional Court nullified law allowing mining in páramos (high-elevation wetlands), despite a general moratorium on mining activities in these ecologically important areas. Because páramos provide environmental services in regulating the hydrological cycle and sequestering carbon, the Court decided the government must protect páramos as part of its duty to fulfill the fundamental constitutional rights to water and a healthy environment.
Reviewing question of whether an EIA for a coal mine, should have considered the impact to the climate of burning the coal, the judge declared, “I consider there is a sufficiently proximate link between the mining of a very substantial reserve of thermal coal in NSW . . . and the emission of GHG which contribute to climate change/global warming . . . to require assessment of that GHG contribution of the coal when burnt in an environmental assessment….”
This project has been made possible by the generous
support of the Philip Stoddard Brown and Adele Smith Brown Foundation