Victory in South Africa’s First Climate Change Case!

Thanks to the good work of ELAW partners at the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER), South Africa’s government must begin assessing the climate impacts of burning coal before issuing permits for new coal-fired power plants.

ELAW lawyers and scientists are working closely with CER as it works to discourage investment in coal projects and support the transition to renewable energy sources.

We congratulate CER for obtaining a very important decision today from the Gauteng Division of the High Court that requires the Minister of Environmental Affairs to reconsider the environmental authorization issued for the Thabametsi coal-fired power plant, and directs the Minister to consider climate impacts in evaluating the proposed project.

ELAW Staff Attorney Jen Gleason: “This powerful decision should send a message around the world: we can’t authorize burning more coal without first examining the climate impacts of burning that coal. This case should help move us past coal and protect the climate.”

ELAW will continue to support CER and its partners as they work to ensure that the government considers more than just the increase in greenhouse gas emissions as it assesses the likely climate impacts of burning more coal.

The court order can be found on CER’s website.

For more information about ELAW’s work in South Africa, contact:

Maggie Keenan
Communications Director

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