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Land and Environment Court reserves its judgement in the Rocky Hill coal mine case.

by admin on 17/12/2018

The view looking across Forbesdale residences, near Gloucester, toward the area for the proposed Rocky Hill coal mine.
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The Land and Environment Court has reserved its judgement in the Rocky Hill coal mine appeal.

The two-weeklandmark hearing,the first its kind since the Paris Agreement, heard experttestimony about climate change, the carbon budget and the impacts ofburning fossil fuels.

Gloucester Resources,the company behind the project, andYancoal , the company behindan associated modification to the Stratford Coal extension project,are challenging the development application refusal by the Department of Planning and Environment’s independent Planning Assessment Commission late last year.

Gloucester Resources argued that climate change was “really a complaint about global geo-political relations” and a merits appeal in the Land and Environment Court over themine’s refusal was “a most singularly inappropriate vehicle” for doing so.

Climate change researcher Professor Will Steffenargued that if climate change scienceis accepted, then the mine proposalmust be refused to help reduce emissions and stay within the global carbon budget.

Evidence: Climate change expert Professor Will Steffen has given evidence in Gloucester Resource’s appeal against refusal of its Rocky Hill open cut coking coal mine.

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Rocky Hill coal mine a threat to Paris Agreement obligations“There is no way you will meet any of these targets if you continue to increase emissions and I think that’s a clear and very robust outcome of applying a carbon budget approach to the Paris targets … So step number one, if you’re really serious about the Paris targets, is no new fossil fuel developments. I mean, it doesn’t take an Einstein to work that out, that you cannot reduce emissions by increasing them,” Professor Steffen said.

The court also heard from Gloucester residents and business operators when it visited the town in the first week of the hearing.

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Gloucester residents turn out in force to oppose Rocky Hill mine projectCounsel forGroundswell Gloucester Robert White said there was scientific consensus about the need to rapidlyreduce greenhouse gas emissions if the world was to meetthe Paris Agreement targets.

“We submit, your Honour, that Gloucester Resources Limitedhas been unable to prove through its evidence in this case that the approval of the mine will reduce carbon dioxide emissions, not increase them.”

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