Coal company Clive Palmer is trying to overturn a decision that mining Queensland will harm future generations

A company owned by Clive Palmer is seeking to overturn a landmark decision that finds its plans to dig Australia's largest thermal coal mine in central Queensland would violate the human rights of future generations and exacerbate the climate crisis.

The coalition that first took the case to court – led by young First Nations women and environmentalists – vowed to defend last month's decision, which they described as "the most significant decision on climate change and human rights in Australia".

Waratah Coal filed an application in Queensland Supreme Court on Thursday to overturn a recommendation made by the president of the land court, Fleur Kingham, that the Queensland government refuse to grant mining leases and environmental approvals for the Galilee mine.

Kingham agrees with arguments made by the Office for the Defense of the Environment, on behalf of the Bimblebox Youth and Nature Reserve Judgment, which claims the 1.58 gigatonnes of carbon emissions that Galilee produces would pose an "unacceptable" risk of a climate crisis and are inconsistent with relative state policies. . The new Queensland Human Rights Act. Palmer told Guardian Australia on Friday the decision had sent shockwaves through the coal mining sector and threatened the state's future prosperity.

"Many in the coal mining industry are concerned that this will set a precedent for future operations that will hurt international investment in the coal industry in Queensland and create a lot of unemployment," he said.

The state's minister of resources, Scott Stewart, said his decision to grant or deny a mining lease would now be postponed pending a decision by the Supreme Court.

Waratah's lawyer, Brendan Tobin, argued that Kingham's decision was filled with legal errors, exceeded the jurisdiction of his court and was an improper exercise of power. decision, Tobin argued the land court president "acted unreasonably in calculating the impact of climate change on a hypothetical future world". He said he had "no evidence" that net greenhouse gas emissions would increase if the mine was approved, or would decrease if it was rejected.

He argued that coal from other sources would “continue to supply the market as long as it lasts” and that emissions were the responsibility of the countries where the fossil fuel was burned.

Waratah will also challenge Kingham's decision on intergenerational equity, his concern that estimates of the company's economic contribution from the mine are optimistic and could result in tax benefits being retained overseas, as well as impacts on land such as noise, air. pollution and subsidence.

He will argue Kingham has no jurisdiction to investigate how the proposed mine will affect the legal status of the Bimblebox Game Reserve as there is "no ban on mining in the reserve".

EDO managing attorney Sean Ryan says a huge climate and human rights fight is looming, as his office prepares to defend what he describes as Kingham's destruction of the “drug dealer defense”: “that if they don't dig and sell coal, people others will.”

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