Youth activists lobby for Australian law on climate

STORY: The legislation would insert a "duty of care" into Australian law, forcing government to consider whether new fossil fuel projects would aggravate global warming and raise the risk of events such as fires or floods.

It grew out of a court battle in which eight schoolchildren argued that the expansion of a coal mine run by Whitehaven Coal would contribute to climate change and endanger their future. The federal court ruled against the children in 2022.

Several youth activists spoke to a senate committee on Thursday, including Anjali Sharma who was one of those behind the Whitehaven lawsuit.

"It's so, so amazing to feel as if my perspectives and my thoughts are actually being heard by one of the country's highest institutions," she said.

Australia is a major exporter of coal and natural gas.