Plaintiffs challenged the environmental impact assessment of a proposed coal blasting project for failure to consider climate impacts. The environmental court of Valdivia blocked the project on other grounds.
In November 2018 claimants brought suit to challenge the environmental impact assessment of the proposed project “Incorporation of blasting as a complementary method in the mechanical extraction of sterile material in the Winter Mine." The Commission for Environmental Assessment of the Magallanes Region and the Chilean Antarctic had initially deemed the project's declaration of environmental impacts to be environmentally unfavorable. When the mine operator challenged this conclusion, the Executive Director of the Commission of Environmental Assessment reversed the decision, determining that the project was environmentally favorable. Claimants asked the court to reinstated the initial determination. They argued that the final environmental impact statement failed to consider the climate impacts of coal blasting in violation of Chile's commitments under international law, including the Paris Agreement, as well as the preventive principle. The plaintiffs further asserted the need to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, and in particular coal, on a global level in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In August 2019 the court issued a decision. The court acknowledged that climate change is a global problem, but concluded that Chile's international commitments do not impose a legal requirement to consider climate change in environmental impact assessments. The court annulled the environmental impact assessment on other grounds, in a decision that the operator has appealed.
|08/20/2019||Judgment||Download||Spanish version. Part I.|
|08/20/2019||Judgment||Download||Spanish version. Part II.|
|08/20/2019||Judgment||Download||Spanish version. Part III.|
|08/20/2019||Judgment||Download||Spanish version. Part IV.|