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Landmark court ruling puts NSW’s biggest climate polluters on notice

Today’s landmark NSW Land and Environment Court ruling should send a chill through the state’s most polluting industries, including the electricity and commercial transport sectors. 

The court has ordered the NSW Environment Protection Authority to develop “policies to ensure environment protection from climate change”. [1] 

“Most people will be astonished to learn the EPA has until now not regulated greenhouse gases, which are arguably our most dangerous environmental pollutants,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said. 

“But that will now have to change after the court found the EPA had a duty to address climate change, which is the most significant challenge our society has ever faced. 

“This is a great day for environmental justice. 

“Full credit goes to the Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action for having the courage to launch this case and to the Environmental Defenders Office who argued so convincingly on their client’s behalf. 

“Allowing politicians to set greenhouse gas emission targets and controls rather than scientific experts has led us to the precipice. 

“These decisions are far too important to left to the politicians. These are issues of science and should not be hijacked by the political process.  

“We hope that today’s decision results in the effective regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and gets the state on track to net zero well before 2050.” 

References 

[1] Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action Incorporated v Environment Protection Authority [2021] NSWLEC 92, 26 August 2021.

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