Australian Conservation Foundation chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy speaks to media outside Federal Court in Brisbane ahead of court hearing between ACF and Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt over the approval of the Carmichael Mine.Photo Pamela Frost
Australian Conservation Foundation chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy speaks to media outside Federal Court in Brisbane ahead of court hearing between ACF and Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt over the approval of the Carmichael Mine.Photo Pamela Frost Pamela Frost

Lawyers: Carmichael emissions 3x more than reduction target

CARBON emissions from Adani's Carmichael coal mine would account for more than half a percent of the world's budgeted emissions in the push keep global warming below two degrees, a court has heard.

Lawyers for an environmental group said Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt allegedly knew this when he made the decision to approve the Galilee Basin mine.

A two-day court hearing began in the Federal Court in Brisbane on Tuesday, where the Australian Conservation Foundation is fighting Mr Hunt and alleging he unlawfully approved the Carmichael Mine.

One of the environmental group's main arguments is that Mr Hunt did not properly consider the impacts on climate change that went against the Australian Government's obligations to protect World Heritage-listed sites, including the Great Barrier Reef.

During the hearing, barrister Saul Holt, acting for the ACF, said emissions from the burning of the mine's coal would be equivalent to about three times Australia's annual emissions reduction target.

Mr Holt also said emissions from burning the coal from the mine would make up more than half a percent of the global emissions budget designed to help limit the world's warming to no more than two degrees.

Mr Holt said this information was allegedly before the minister when he was considering the mine's approval.

He also referred to a world outlook report that stated ocean acidification and sea temperature rises were certain and catastrophic.

When questioned by the judge, Mr Holt could not confirm whether Mr Hunt had this information when he first made the decision on the Carmichael Mine.

Speaking outside court, Australian Conservation Foundation chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy said they believed they had a strong case that they could win.

She said this was a landmark court case as particular legal grounds had never been tested in Australian courts before.

Mr Hunt's office did not wish to comment on matters before the court. - ARM NEWSDESK


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