Big Coal Feels the Heat: The Sharma Case and the Role of Litigation in Keeping Coal in the Ground

Youth have become a powerful voice in highlighting the injustices of the climate emergency: they’re able to underscore both the moral imperative of addressing climate change now and the inconsistency of government actions towards protecting young people and future generations from climate harms. In Sharma and others v. Minister for the Environment, a group of young petitioners challenged the Minister for the Environment’s potential approval of a coal mine expansion project in New South Wales, Australia. Though the Court ultimately decided it was too early to issue an injunction, it did recognize a new duty of care: the Minister was required to take reasonable care to not harm the youth petitioners in making a decision on the project, which would release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and use up a portion of the ever smaller global climate budget. This webinar examines this case and its implications for current and future climate litigation.