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South Africa's First Climate Change Lawsuit Heads to Court
February 23, 2017
South Africa’s first climate change lawsuit will begin in the Pretoria High Court on Thursday, 2 March 2017 when Earthlife Africa Johannesburg (ELA) will challenge the decision of the Minister of Environmental Affairs to uphold the environmental authorisation for the proposed Thabametsi coal-fired power plant.
This will be the first time that the South African judiciary will be required to consider the importance of the climate change impacts of a coal-fired power station, as a necessary consideration in deciding whether or not to grant an environmental authorisation.
According to ELA, the Minister of Environmental Affairs required that the Thabametsi Power Company conduct a climate change impact assessment. However, she subsequently upheld the authorisation despite the climate change impacts not having been assessed.