Climate campaigners on Thursday hailed a landmark decision from an Australian federal judge who ruled that the country\u0026#039;s government has a duty to protect children and the environment from the impacts of the climate emergency.\u0026nbsp;\u0022My 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.\u0022—Ava Princi, plaintiffThe Sydney Morning Herald reports\u0026nbsp;Justice Mordecai Bromberg ruled that Environment Minister Sussan Ley has a duty of care to protect the one million Australian children who are expected to be hospitalized at least once in their lives due to heat stress, and that the Great Barrier Reef and eucalyptus forests will die absent action to combat climate change.\u0026nbsp;Bromberg\u0026#039;s ruling came in a case brought by eight high school students who met through the School Strike for Climate movement and a nun who acted as their legal representative. While the court recognized the government\u0026#039;s duty of care, it dismissed the plaintiffs\u0026#039; bid for an injunction to stop Ley from green-lighting the expansion of Whitehaven Coal\u0026#039;s Vickery mine near Gunnedah, New South Wales.This is a huge win for the whole climate movement. A big congratulations to the brave Australian teenagers who have achieved this. Of course the action needed is still nowhere in sight, but these court cases are symbolic breaking points that could have huge snowball effects. https://t.co/Cjgz2O0fMU— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) May 27, 2021Mordecai wrote in a judgment summary that the potential harm caused by the climate emergency \u0022may fairly be described as catastrophic, particularly should global average surface temperatures rise to and exceed 3 degrees beyond the pre-industrial level.\u0022\u0026nbsp;According to the Morning Herald:The federal court judge accepted evidence that climate change was caused by carbon dioxide emissions, that it was probably already unlikely to be halted without temporarily passing the target of 1.5 degrees, and that if allowed to continue above two degrees unchecked it would cause tipping points to be triggered leading to average global surface temperatures to rise by four degrees by the end of the century, unleashing massive environmental destruction.\u0022Many thousands will suffer premature death from heat stress or bushfire smoke,\u0022 Mordecai wrote in his summary. \u0022Substantial economic loss and property damage will be experienced.\u0022\u0026nbsp;The judge also acknowledged that, if approved, the Vickery expansion would result in an additional 100 million tonnes of carbon emissions.\u0026nbsp;However, in denying the injunction, Mordecai wrote that he was not satisfied that \u0022a reasonable apprehension of breach of the duty of care by the minister has been established.\u0022Here\u0026#039;s @MichaelM_ACT on the pretty spectacular win of a group of young Australians determined not to let Australia\u0026#039;s terrible leadership sabotage their safety and their future. Ties in pretty neatly with the Dutch Shell court ruling. https://t.co/njdnYJlc8F— Ketan Joshi (@KetanJ0) May 27, 2021Despite the injunction defeat, plaintiffs\u0026#039; attorney David Barnden hailed the ruling as a historic win.\u0022This is an amazing recognition that people in power must not harm younger people by their decisions,\u0022 he told the Morning Herald.\u0026nbsp;One of the plaintiffs, 17-year-old Ava Princi, said after the ruling that the fight is \u0022not over yet.\u0022\u0022There will be further submissions on what the duty of care means for the minister\u0026#039;s decision and the mine,\u0022 Princi said in a statement. \u0022I am thrilled because this is a landmark decision. This is the first time a court of law, anywhere in the world, has recognized that a government minister has a duty of care to protect young people from the catastrophic harms of climate change.\u0022\u0022My 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,\u0022 she added.\u0026nbsp;International climate activists also welcomed the ruling.\u0022This is a huge win for the whole climate movement...\u0026nbsp;Of course the action needed is still nowhere in sight, but these court cases are symbolic breaking points that could have huge snowball effects.\u0022—Greta Thunberg, climate campaigner\u0026nbsp;\u0022This is a huge win for the whole climate movement,\u0022 Fridays for Future founder Greta Thunberg tweeted Thursday. \u0022A big congratulations to the brave Australian teenagers who have achieved this. Of course the action needed is still nowhere in sight, but these court cases are symbolic breaking points that could have huge snowball effects.\u0022The Australian ruling was the latest blow in a bad week for the global fossil fuel industry.\u0026nbsp;In a decision called a \u0022landslide victory for climate justice,\u0022 a Dutch court on Wednesday ordered Shell to slash its carbon emissions by 45% by the end of the decade.\u0026nbsp;Also on Wednesday, ExxonMobil and Chevron—the two largest U.S. oil companies—suffered shareholder backlash over the firms\u0026#039; lack of strategy for addressing the climate emergency.\u0026nbsp;Meanwhile, the World Meteorological Organization warned Thursday there\u0026#039;s a 40% chance the planet will temporarily hit 1.5°C of warming in the next five years.