Landmark climate litigation to protect our living wonders from coal and gas
In 2023, a small volunteer environment group, the Environment Council of Central Queensland (ECoCeQ), took our federal Environment Minister and two big coal companies to Court to protect our living wonders from climate harm.
In October 2023, the Federal Court dismissed the Living Wonders climate cases.
EJA have lawyers have since filed two appeals to the full bench of the Federal Court to prevent the Minister from approving new coal and gas plans without first assessing their climate impact.
The science is clear
Represented by Environmental Justice Australia, ECoCeQ argues the science is clear: new coal mine expansions like Whitehaven’s Narrabri and MACH’s Mount Pleasant pose a serious and irreversible threat to our climate and to thousands of threatened animals, plants and places across Australia.
They argue the Minister acted unlawfully when she refused to accept the climate harm these projects are likely to cause, as outlined in thousands of scientific reports, including from the IPCC and her own department.
If successful, ECoCeQ hopes these cases will transform how Australia’s Environment Ministers now and into the future assess climate risk – so the climate harm of every new coal or gas mine can never be ignored again.
A kaleidoscope of living wonders
This continent is rich with animals, plants, places and ecosystems so extraordinary, they must be protected from harm.
Dozens of coal and gas plans
Burning fossil fuels is the biggest cause of climate breakdown. New coal mines and gas wells will cause vast and irreversible harm to our environment and all of us.
The evidence is stark
The science is clear, but the future is not yet written. Here's how these court cases seek to reshape environmental decision making in Australia.
This is about all of us
Koalas and platypuses. Green turtles, dugongs and Tassie devils. Bilbies and bats and big old trees.
It’s about birds that traverse the planet to nest in our internationally recognised wetlands, and whales that nurse their calves in our seas.
It’s about delicate alpine ecosystems, thunderous waterfalls, miraculous deserts and ochre-toned escarpments.
It’s about the living cultural heritage of First Nations people. It’s about Kakadu. The Tarkine. The Reef.
And it’s about all the extraordinary animals, reptiles, birds, plants, heritage and places we want our children and their children to know and love.