It is "nearly unimaginable" the NSW government has moved to amend laws that require planning bodies to asses overseas greenhouse gas emissions when examining local mining projects, a left-wing think tank says.
The Australia Institute on Wednesday launched an advertising campaign targeting the Berejiklian government's plan to ban authorities from considering the consequences of burning NSW coal once it's shipped overseas.
A 30-second TV ad and social media posts claim coal mined in NSW "causes more carbon pollution than France or the UK". It also criticises the coal lobby for attacking the state's independent planning commission.
Australia Institute executive director Ben Oquist says the coalition was moving to wind back climate laws under "unprecedented pressure" from the coal industry.
"It's almost unimaginable that in an age of climate emergency this could be happening," he told reporters on Wednesday.
Planning Minister Rob Stokes introduced the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Territorial Limits) Bill to the NSW parliament in late October.
The legislation would amend the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and the state's environmental planning policy.
Environmental Defenders Office NSW chief executive David Morris says the legislation would prohibit decision-makers from imposing conditions on NSW-based projects which relate to overseas-burned emissions.
It would also remove an explicit requirement for decision-makers to consider those downstream emissions when weighing up the pros and cons of a particular project, he told reporters.
"When our coal is burned overseas, it has local impacts right here in NSW and trying to exclude that ... from a decision-maker's consideration of that project is really grotesque," Mr Morris told reporters.
Former NSW Supreme Court justice and former Land and Environment Court judge Paul Stein says residents "should be alarmed".
"This bill is a dangerous and retrograde step which flies in the face of combating global warming," he said in a statement.
Mr.Stokes says the government's policy to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 had not changed.
"I'm surprised the EDO doesn't understand that decision-makers are required to consider greenhouse gas emissions when assessing mining proposals, alongside other environmental, economic and social factors," he told AAP in a statement.
"The bill simply provides procedural certainty about how extraterritorial impacts can be dealt with in the conditioning of NSW planning approvals."
Australian Associated Press