The “new generation” of climate change litigation in Australia

On August 9, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change released its Sith Assessment of the state of the world’s climate. It warned that the planet was likely to exceed the target temperate goal set out in the Paris Agreement as early at 2030, and by 2040 at the latest. The Australian Government has declined to increase Australia’s policy ambition, despite these predictions. Can novel litigation provide the catalyst that prevents the approval of new coal mines?


Professor Jan McDonald, School of Law

Jan McDonald teaches climate and environmental law at the University of Tasmania. She is the author of numerous books and reports on climate change adaptation, biodiversity, and geoengineering. Jan has worked for the United National Development Program and is currently on the Board of Australia’s leading public interest environmental law firm, the Environmental Defenders Office Australia.


Slides and notes

  • Case study of Sharma v Minister for the Environment:
  • (the Environmental Law Australia website is a wonderful public resource with all sorts of information about, and hyperlinks to, the leading cases in Australian environmental law).