Greta Thunberg has praised the work of Australian teenagers who took the federal government to court.
The group of teens, along with an 86-year-old nun, served an injunction against the federal Environment Minister and argued she has a responsibility to ensure young people aren't affected by climate change.
The group specifically challenged Minister Sussan Ley's approval of Whitehaven Coal's plan to expand the Vickery coalmine in northern New South Wales.
Justice Mordecai Bromberg delivered a bittersweet ruling that agreed the Minister had a duty of care, but he also didn't believe Ms Ley was breaching her responsibilities in this specific case.
But the 'duty of care' ruling is believed to be a world first and has the ability to ensure future governments make it clear how their policies will mitigate harm for future generations.
It has been heralded by Greta Thunberg, with the teenage climate activist hopeful for the future.
"This is a huge win for the whole climate movement," she wrote on Twitter. "A big congratulations to the brave Australian teenagers who have achieved this.
While Justice Bromberg didn't rule in favour of the teenagers, they were still excited to carve out a piece of history.
Ava Princi, 17, was one of the teens who brought the injunction forward.
She said: "I am thrilled because this is a landmark decision. My future and the future of all young people depends on Australia stepping away from fossil fuel projects and joining the world in taking decisive climate action."
A lawyer representing the teens, David Barnden, added (via the Guardian): "The court has found that the minister owes a duty of care to younger children, to vulnerable people, and that duty says that the minister must not act in a way that causes harm - future harm - from climate change to younger people.
"It is the first time in the world that such a duty of care has been recognised, especially in a common law country."
It's unclear how this 'duty of care' ruling will be applied or proved either way in the future, however the one thing that is clear is that it's now in writing.
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