The High Court in Pretoria has recognised the significant effects climate change has on SA by setting aside a decision by Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa to authorise a new coal-fired station. SA’s first yet climate change litigation, brought by Earthlife Africa, represented by the Centre for Environmental Rights, contested the decision to grant environmental authorisation for the Thabametsi coal-fired Limpopo power station despite the lack of a climate-change impact assessment. Molewa dismissed Earthlife’s appeal against the authorisation, but called for a full climate-impact report while upholding the authorisation for the project. Earthlife Africa, part of the Life After Coal campaign, which aims to discourage investment in new coal-fired power stations, argued that Molewa had acted unlawfully in failing to set aside the authorisation, undermining the purpose of a climate-change impact assessment. The Department of Environmental Affairs admitted that although an enviro...

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