Some scientists have estimated more than 90% of Australia’s coal resources must stay in the ground.
Coal image from www.shutterstock.com
Activists want the Carmichael mine stopped. But what does the law say?
Australia’s environment protection laws only protect endangered species or ones in national parks.
The government is set to restrict green groups' right to challenge environmental approvals in court. But the law isn't doing its job in protecting Australia's plants and animals anyway.
Protesters in Brisbane campaigning for more rights for landowners against coal seam gas.
AAP Image/Cleo Fraser
As a landowner, can you veto a coal seam gas development? And does the environment minister have the power to say no to coal mines?
Tinkering with the law is likely to entrench positions on both sides of the ‘green tape’ debate.
Both industry and environmental groups need more certainty over the government's approvals process. But the recent hectic rhetoric has given them less certainty - and that could be bad for both sides.
Federal Attorney-General George Brandis wants to remove green groups’ blanket eligibility to challenge environmental approvals in the courts.
AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
The government plans to change the law so green groups don't automatically qualify to mount legal challenges against environmental approvals. That would make it much harder for green watchdogs to act.
Humpback whale populations have leapt on both Australia’s east and west coasts.
Ari S. Friedlaender (under NMFS permit)
Chalk it up as a rare conservation win: humpback whales have bounced back so strongly since the whaling era that there is no longer a need to include them on Australia's official threatened species list.
Hefty problem: a local council was left with a huge clean-up bill after a dead whale washed up in Perth last year.
AAP Image/City of Stirling
Dead whales can cost beachside ratepayers a lot to clean up. The alternative is to tow them away before they wash up - but the legal question of who does the job is far more complex than it sounds.
Should coal projects be held responsible for the greenhouse emissions that flow from their product, even if it’s burned on another continent?
A new legal challenge to the proposed Carmichael coal mine – Australia’s largest – will test in the federal court whether climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions should be taken into account…