What has been described as SA’s first climate change lawsuit is set to be heard in the High Court of Pretoria next Thursday. Non-governmental organisation (NGO) Earthlife Africa is asking the court to revoke the environmental impact assessment for the proposed privately run Thabametsi power station. The coal-powered station is to be run by independent power producers who will sell electricity to Eskom. The environmental assessment is one of the documents needed before the station can start operating. Earthlife is unhappy that the minister and director-general of environmental affairs granted the coal-fired station authorisation to start, but failed to take into account how it would affect climate change. Earthlife’s court papers say, "The Thabametsi power station is likely to contribute significant carbon dioxide emissions, although the precise amount is not yet known." The NGO argues that carbon dioxide emissions affect climate change and that this should have been considered by th...

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