Forest and Bird is calling for a law change after the Supreme Court ruled climate change cannot be a factor when councils are considering resource consent applications.
The conservation organisation and the West Coast Environment Network have been fighting to stop Bathurst Resources being allowed to mine on the Denniston Plateau.
The groups told the Supreme Court the effect of burning coal from the mine was relevant to the resource consent application.
However, in a majority decision, the court ruled climate change cannot be considered by local councils.
Forest and Bird spokesperson Kevin Hackwell says a law change is needed so climate change can be taken into account.
Mining industry group Straterra disagrees, saying the court decision provides welcome clarity.
The Environment Court is yet to give its final decision on the mine.