Articles sur Environmental law

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Greg Hunt, and all environment ministers past and future, could be protected from legal challenge over mining approvals. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Australia’s environment minister could soon be above the law

Earlier this month, a Senate inquiry paved the way for the Parliament to give Environment Minister Greg Hunt legal immunity against future legal challenges to his decisions on mining projects. If it passes…
Climate lawyers suggest a clean and healthy future could be paid for with litigation. EPA/RADEK PIETRUSZKA

We know who’s profiting from emissions - let’s bill them

Research published last month in the journal Climatic Change may provide an essential building block in proving corporate liability for current and future climate change damage. Researcher Richard Heede…
Who you gonna call? (They’ve all been fired) Anna Gowthorpe/PA

Environment Agency staff cuts risk economy and reputation

In the days after typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines, David Cameron said that such extreme weather demanded that we take steps to prevent and mitigate against climate change. These are encouraging…
It ain’t easy being green, especially when your home’s been turned into (other people’s) houses. Andrew Milligan/PA

An amphibian-eye-view of environmental offsetting

In its report published last week, the UK Parliament’s green watchdog, the Environmental Audit Committee, was far from convinced by the government’s proposed policy of biodiversity offsetting. The committee’s…
England’s green and pleasant land: will biodiversity offsetting help or hinder it? Gareth Fuller/PA

Biodiversity offsets may drive growth, but duck the problem

The idea behind biodiversity offsets is to develop a new way of preserving nature that more accurately accounts for the value to us of the natural world. The abundance and diversity of plants and animals…
Will the sun set on migratory songbird hunting, or the birds themselves? ONDR

Ending songbird slaughter? There’s an app for that

In an article for National Geographic and a forthcoming documentary film, author and birder Jonathan Franzen ponders the slaughter of migratory songbirds around the Mediterranean, and asks how it can be…
Many coal and CSG projects will affect groundwater, much of which is already in use. Flickr/rhondda.p

Coal and gas projects can’t be rushed: here’s why

New environment minister Greg Hunt recently announced 50 large coal and coal seam gas developments to be pushed through Australia’s environmental approval process, including assessment under the new federal…
The Franklin River in Tasmania, site of the landmark decision by the Commonwealth to stop a state-proposed dam. Flickr/Two Big Paws

Commonwealth will keep environmental power over state projects

The Commonwealth will not delegate to the states decisions under its national environmental laws in which the states have a “conflict of interest”. Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt confirmed this…
Global carbon emissions, by country - climate legislation helps. Distantbody

In praise of Britain’s Climate Change Act

Approved with overwhelming support from all political parties, the Climate Change Act came into force in 2008 and was hailed as a ground-breaking piece of legislation that would guide Britain’s transition…
Tarkine mines must now fund Tasmanian Devil conservation. But what about the rest of it? Flickr/Gopal Vijayaraghavan

Tasmania’s Tarkine needs a strategic plan

The Federal Government has now approved two mines for the Tarkine region of Tasmania, on condition that the mines fund conservation measures for Tasmanian Devils and other threatened species. The approvals…
Oil on the water: Russian environmental problems are commonplace, but who’s watching? Denis Sinyakov/Greenpeace

Russia’s crumbling environmental safeguards

The Russian state’s engagement with environmental concerns is complicated, carrying as it does a heavy legacy from Soviet times. From the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster (in what is Ukraine…
If oil spills in the forest and no one is around to see it, will anyone care? Denis Sinyakov/Greenpeace

Few hear the cries of those fighting to save wild Russia

Lying to either side of the Urals, the Republic of Komi and Khanty-Mansiysk in the north of Russia are among the country’s most oil-rich regions. Scarcely populated, they provide a substantial share of…
Despite the popularity, a national container deposit scheme isn’t the right way to clean up our litter. Flickr/nist6ss

Container deposit laws past their use-by date

The old-fashioned approach to recycling in which consumers pay a redeemable deposit on drink containers is popular among all kinds of people, from Greenpeace members to traditional Coalition voters. But…
Frack orf: fracking hasn’t had the same reception here as it has in the US. Georgie Gillard/PA

Laying down the law over fracking

Foundation essay: This article on the different international attitudes to fracking by Professor John Paterson, Chair in Law at Aberdeen University, is part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation…
Australia is already clearing land at world-leading rates. Ray Christie/Indigo Skies Photography

Clearing more land: we all lose

Last week the Queensland parliament passed laws relaxing land clearing and opening up national parks to cattle grazing. Victoria has proposed similar clearing changes. It’s no surprise more clearing is…
People are right to be worried about how thoroughly coal and gas’s affect on water is being assessed. cobalt123/flickr

Coal and gas fail the test when it comes to environmental impact

There has been an acceleration in the number of coal seam gas and mining proposals approved in Australia. Since 2010, eight projects have been given the green light in Queensland alone. All projects have…
Take care! The precautionary principle can only go so far without data to rely on. Jeremy Buckingham

Environmental assessment of coal seam gas lacks scientific back-up

Yesterday, the Federal government issued new recommendations for methods to estimate emissions from conventional gas and from coal seam gas production. So what did we learn? The proposals seek to refine…

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