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Australian teens lead class action against Whitehaven's coal mine expansion

A class action against a coal mine extension that begins on Tuesday could make it more difficult for coal mines to be approved in Australia on the basis of intergenerational equity and climate change, if the claimants prove successful.

The landmark claim, by a group of eight teenagers from across Australia, begins on Tuesday in Melbourne's Federal Court and is expected to last for five days, but a judgement may not be made for several months.

The students argue that Australia's Environment Minister Susan Ley has a duty of care to protect them from climate change and the expansion of Whitehaven Coal's Vickery coal mine in New South Wales state will contribute to climate change and endanger their future.