Young people fight for their future.
Supported here by the Federal Court and the Knitting Nannas.
First of all. In Canada. The International Children’s Peace Prize.
“Autumn Peltier already has years of advocacy behind her. She’s met the Prime Minister, she’s attended the Assembly of First Nations Annual General Assembly and she’s marched on the highway in the name of water protection. At just 13 years old, Peltier is now a nominee for the International Children’s Peace Prize.”
The 151 nominees for the International Children’s Peace Prize were recently announced and the only Canadian candidate is this Anishinaabe teen from Wikwemikong First Nation.
Peltier has been advocating for clean drinking water since she was about 8 years old and is already considered a water protector — just like her aunt Josephine Mandamin, who received the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation in 2016.
Launched in 2005, the International Children’s Peace Prize is awarded to a child who has worked to improve children’s lives around the world.”
Article Source: www.globalcitizen.org
I set up this blog in 2019 to reach voters in our democracies with the best information I can find. Too often fossil fuel mining corporations, makers of pesticides, makers of artificial fertilizers and plastics have done and are doing so much to prevent the positive action we need to be taken. I search for hope in the face of governments, too often my own, nations and corporations only concerned with short-term profit on land, in public waterways, in coastal areas, in oceans and in the atmosphere. Often I find information in our wonderful public ABC’s Radio National’s Science Show. This month I go to Australia’s Federal Court first of all. In this May blog I celebrate young people and the grandmothers. But governments can still be acting against their future interests. So ‘Some good news – but you’ll see when you reach the budget.
At last, the Australian Federal Court follows the Netherlands.
So many students joined the March4Climate Change of Friday May 21st.The pity is they can’t yet vote. They are not yet 18. So, they must rely on the adults to do what is right. Now, our Federal Court has spoken for the young.
The Netherlands began to recognise the impact of climate change on children in 2015. Governments have a duty of care for the children who must live in the nation and the world that voters choose to create in democracies. Ones that cares about climate change like Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. Or one like Australia’s national Coalition government. However, in 2021, despite being in the midst of a pandemic, Australia’s Federal Court has spoken for the vulnerable young people of Australia.
Enough Americans voted for President Biden prepared to invest his nation’s wealth in a range of positive ways to support actions to bring about a safer, cleaner future for everyone in USA including the children yet to be born.
|Read the article. Our e-paper with academic integrity is ‘The Conversation’|
Dealing with a recalcitrant Coalition government that prefers to support coal and puts $600 million into a gas-fired power house with money from our revenue since the market refuses to have anything to do with it, the young people of Australia have taken the Minister for the Environment to the Federal Court. She – Sussan Ley – and all future Ministers for the Environment now have a duty of care to young people. The young people, their future, must be considered in her decisions. BUT she can choose to act against the interests of the vulnerable. Think of what it says about the government if she does act against the children’s future. That is what the voters need to be taking into account. This Coalition will try to get us only to focus on the pandemic.
In a landmark judgment, the Federal Court found the environment minister has a duty of care to young people
May 27, 2021 5.12pm AEST
Author is Laura Schuiiers, Research Fellow in Environmental Law, The University of Melbourne.
Laura Schuiiers does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
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‘This morning, the Australian Federal Court delivered a landmark judgement on climate change, marking an important moment in our history.
The class action case was brought on behalf of all Australian children and teenagers, against Environment Minister Sussan Ley.
Their aim was to prevent Ley from possibly approving the Whitehaven coal mine extension project, near Gunnedah in New South Wales. They argued that approving this project would endanger their future because of climate hazards, including causing them injury, ill health, death or economic losses.
The court dismissed the application to stop the minister from approving the extension. But that’s just the beginning.
Before making those orders, the court found a new duty it never has before: the environment minister owes a duty of care to Australia’s young people not to cause them physical harm in the form of personal injury from climate change.
‘Australia will be lost’: the court’s moving findings
The court considered evidence in the case from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology, and globally renowned ANU climate scientist Will Steffen.
In a tear-jerking moment during the Federal Court’s live-streamed summary, the court found that one million of today’s Australian children are expected to be hospitalised because of a heat-stress episode, that substantial economic loss will be experienced, and that the Great Barrier Reef and most of Australia’s eucalypt forest won’t exist when they grow up.
It found this harm is real, catastrophic, and – importantly from a legal perspective – “reasonably foreseeable”. In decades past, courts have considered climate change to be a “speculative”, “future problem”.
That is no longer the case. The court concluded, in a moving paragraph from the written judgment:
It is difficult to characterise in a single phrase the devastation that the plausible evidence presented in this proceeding forecasts for the children. As Australian adults know their country, Australia will be lost and the world as we know it gone as well.
The physical environment will be harsher, far more extreme and devastatingly brutal when angry. As for the human experience – quality of life, opportunities to partake in nature’s treasures, the capacity to grow and prosper – all will be greatly diminished.
Lives will be cut short. Trauma will be far more common and good health harder to hold and maintain.
None of this will be the fault of nature itself. It will largely be inflicted by the inaction of this generation of adults, in what might fairly be described as the greatest inter-generational injustice ever inflicted by one generation of humans upon the next.
To say that the children are vulnerable is to understate their predicament.
Establishing a new duty of care
The children took a novel route in asserting the federal environment minister owed them a duty of care. A duty of care means a responsibility not to take actions that could harm others. A duty of care is the first step in a claim of negligence.
A similar duty was found in the Netherlands in 2015, as a global first. In 2019, the Supreme Court upheld that duty – the Dutch government owed it citizens a duty to reduce emissions in order to protect human rights.
Other cases around the world were inspired by that success, including the one decided in Australia today.
The court today didn’t say the minister has a duty to stop all coal projects of any size, as it was only considering the Whitehaven extension project. But this is still hugely significant.
Australia has been repeatedly criticised on the global stage for its stance on new coal and climate change more generally. Now, we may find the decisions made by its environment ministers could amount to negligent conduct.
The buck doesn’t stop at governments
Back in the Netherlands, something else significant happened this week — the world learned the buck doesn’t stop at governments.
In what’s been described as “arguably the most significant climate change judgement yet”, a court in The Hague ordered Royal Dutch Shell, a global oil and gas company, to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030 compared with 2019 levels, via its corporate policy.
So now we have a dual momentum — governments need to be careful what they approve, and fossil fuels companies need be careful what they propose.
Putting the minister on notice
It’s important to recognise Sussan Ley hasn’t made a decision yet to approve the coal mine extension. The young Australians were seeking to stop her from approving it, and in that they didn’t succeed.
However, her responsibility to young people has now been formally recognised by the court.
Today’s children are vulnerable to climate change and they depend on the environment minister to protect their interests. We don’t know yet if the minister will approve the mine extension, or if she does, whether that means she has breached her duty to the children. But we do know how significant the harm from climate change will be.
What’s more, in 2019, a NSW court confirmed now is not the time to be approving new coal, and every coal mine counts.
Today’s judgement opens the door for future litigation if the minister is not careful about approving projects that could harm the next generations of Australians.
But importantly, it puts the federal environment minister on notice — while political terms might be only short, decisions now have intergenerational consequences for the future.
Short-term financial gain can have detrimental consequences for the health and economic wellbeing of those who can’t vote yet.’
But the children are not alone. Meet the Knitting Nannas.
BUT – Here is the central problem the children and their grandmothers continue to face.
It is what this Australian Coalition government’s 2021 budget tells them.
Thu 13 May 2021 03.30 AEST
‘Last modified on Sat 15 May 2021 13.12 AEST There was little talk of the climate crisis or the environment in Tuesday’s budget, perhaps because the Morrison government has succeeded in framing the climate crisis and the environment as side issues.
But once you dig into the detail there is plenty to know. Here are some key points.
Will there be a green recovery?
‘Not based on this. There has been a global push for a climate-focused move to kickstart economic growth from the pandemic, pushed by the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations and several national leaders.
The response has been mixed, but countries that Australia likes to compare itself with have embraced the idea. The US president, Joe Biden, has proposed a US$2tn infrastructure plan to drive “transformational progress” in tackling climate change, including US$174bn for electric vehicles and support to make the electricity grid emissions-free by 2035. Germany has dedicated US$47bn to green recovery measures, including $9bn to “green hydrogen”. Even fossil fuel-rich Canada has committed more than US$36bn to clean energy.’ US$2 trillion! President Biden knows such investment is needed.
‘In contrast, the UN environment program found Australia had done the least among the world’s 50 largest economies to drive a green recovery. There is nothing to change that in the budget.
The government remains averse to even using the word “climate”. It appears in just two items in the 197 pages of budget paper number two, which lays out proposed spending measures for the next four years.
Elsewhere, a table dedicated to “climate spending” confirms just 0.3% – 30c in every $100 – of budget spending is dedicated to addressing the climate crisis. The government expects that to fall to 0.2% in 2022-23.’
While there is all this evidence of such limited interest by the Australian government in the climate crisis on land, that terrible logging destructive of bio-diversity and costing us great carbon sinks continues unabated, there is this glimmer of hope in Marine Protected Areas.
Refer to the blog related to the work of Dr Sylvia Earle.
Bridging the world of sciences and humanities, – July 2020
‘BREAKING: Incredible news! The Australian Government has announced plans to establish two new marine parks around the spectacular Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
These will be the world’s next big marine parks, providing critical protection for globally significant marine life in an area twice the size of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park!
🦀Christmas Island has thriving rainforests, deserted beaches and a reef that provides shelter to extraordinary rare seabirds, crabs and marine life.
🏝️The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are Australia’s unspoiled tropical island paradise. Their azure waters are home to an incredible array of diverse marine life including tropical fish, corals, turtles, manta rays and dolphins.
There are few comparable unspoiled tropical island environments left in the world.
Creating world-class marine parks will protect a wealth of marine life, make a significant global contribution to the health of our oceans, and bring much needed long-term benefits to the people of Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands.’
Important as these plans are, they cannot be allowed to be substitutes for efforts to protect from short-term, profit-based, so often mining exploitation, our sacred cultural sites, what sea kelp we have left, our wetlands, our public waterways, our ground water beneath the driest habitable continent on the globe, our old growth forests, our unique fauna and flora, the Great Barrier Reef, the Ningaloo Reef off the coast of Western Australia and all the Ramsar World heritage sites across the nation.
To do this, the Australian government must up-date its National Standards Policy for Environment and Bio-diversity. The Graeme Samuel’s Report must be implemented. This Australian government has avoided putting it in place.