Carbon Central reports that NSW Land and Environment Court has thrown out most of Australia’s first climate change case, agreeing with Macquarie Generation its licence allows it to emit CO2.
NSW Environment Defenderâ€™s Office (EDO) argued that the Bayswater coal-fired power station breached its operating licence under the NSW Protection of the Environment Operations Act (POEO) by negligently emitting CO2.
Justice Pain ruled the POEO Act gave it â€œimplied authorityâ€ to emit CO2. The licence to burn coal to generate electricity â€œwould have no sensible operation if the licence is construed as not allowing the emission of CO2â€³, Justice Pain said.
Still, Justice Pain agreed the court should hear EDOâ€™s argument, â€œnovelâ€ to the courtâ€™s jurisdiction, that Bayswater was not authorised to emit unlimited amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, based on the common law â€œprinciple of limitation of statutory authorityâ€, used in negligence and/or tort actions involving pollution.
So Macquarie are allowed to emit more than zero but less than an unlimited amount — er, no problem there. They would have to be happy with the result of a frivolous litigation, whose admitted purpose was to merely to allow EDO â€œto ventilate our argument about CO2 by a different meansâ€.