Review of European Community and International Environmental Law, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 38-49, 2009
21 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2010
Date Written: January 5, 2010
The International Energy Agency has reported that, in 2007, fossil fuels were the source of 66% of global energy production, while the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found that 60% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gases emissions in 2004 were carbon dioxide emissions from the stationary energy sector. This article relies on recent case law in Australia to assess the extent to which the precautionary principle is a relevant consideration for development consent authorities determining applications for coal-fired power stations, coal mines, wind farms and uranium mines. What emerges is that there is really no certainty that the precautionary principle will be applied consistently by Australian Courts to determine the legal responsibilities of decision-makers assessing energy projects. In this sense, the precautionary principle has taken a thrill ride on the roller coaster of energy and climate law in Australia.
Keywords: the precautionary principle, consent authorities, coal-fired power stations, coal mines, wind farms, uranium mines, climate change, climate change litigation
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Lyster, Rosemary and Coonan, Eric, The Precautionary Principle: A Thrill Ride on the Roller Coaster of Energy and Climate Law (January 5, 2010). Review of European Community and International Environmental Law, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 38-49, 2009; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1532014