Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Climate Litigation in NSW Supreme Court


The NSW Land and Environment Court will decide on Wednesday if a case against Macquarie Generation, operators of the state’s largest power station at Bayswater in the Hunter Valley, should be allowed to proceed.

The landmark legal challenge commenced in July, brought by climate change activists Peter Gray and Naomi Hodgson from the Newcastle based group Rising Tide. The activists are being represented by the NSW Environmental Defender’s Office.

The case alleges that Bayswater power station is unlawfully releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and thus causing harm to the environment through its contribution to global warming. Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas primarily responsible for human-induced climate forcing.

Macquarie Generation have asked the court to throw out the proceedings, claiming they have lawful authority to dispose of any amount of carbon dioxide they wish.

“Bayswater power station is the biggest single point source of CO2 in NSW, emitting 12-15 million tonnes of CO2 every year, and those emissions are presently entirely unregulated,” said Peter Gray.

“This power station is a major contributor to a global problem, and should be controlled by strict environmental standards. The continued unregulated disposal of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at Bayswater power station is an affront to any Australian concerned about our nation’s contribution to climate change.”

The activists will be represented in court on Wednesday by Ian Lloyd QC, Craig Lenahan, and the Environmental Defender’s Office.

For further comment
Peter Gray: 0406 716 792

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