A court ruled that the Australian environment minister has a duty of care to protect children from future person injury due to climate change.
In New South Wales, Australia, attempts by a group of children who sought an injunction against Environment Minister Sussan Ley approving a Vickery coal mine extension project, which would result in 100 million additional tons of carbon emissions were not successful.
However, Federal Court Justice Mordecai Bromberg did find Ley has a duty of reasonable care to not cause the children personal injury when using her power to approve or reject the extension.
The justice said he did not issue an injunction at this time, because he was not convinced Ley had yet breached her duty of care.
Justice Bromberg said the law of negligence focuses on the "foreseeability of future harm," and that Ley should be able to foresee the consequences of the mine extension on carbon emissions and climate change. The justice added that the impact of the mine on global carbon dioxide emissions and average temperatures was "tiny but measurable".