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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet


Australia’s Islanders Complain to U.N. over Australia’s Climate Change Inaction

Jaran Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Dance Company (Credit: Click to Enlarge.

A group of islanders off Australia’s north coast filed a human rights complaint to the United Nations against the Australian government on Monday over inaction on climate change, which they say is threatening their homes, their lawyers said.

The complaint by eight Torres Strait Islanders marks the first climate change litigation brought against Australia based on human rights, said ClientEarth, the UK-based environmental law charity handling the complaint.

“We’re currently seeing the effects of climate change on our islands daily, with rising seas, tidal surges, coastal erosion and inundation of our communities,” said Kabay Tamu, one of the eight islanders bringing the case.

Torres Strait Islanders are part of Australia’s indigenous population, along with Aborigines, who live on small islands dotted between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The Australian government is investing A$3 million in environmental management for the Torres Strait Islands and would invest a further A$3.5 billion to help cut Australia’s carbon emissions if re-elected on May 18, Environment Minister Melissa Price’s spokesman said in emailed comments.

The claimants, backed by U.S. environmental group, also launched a petition highlighting they want the Australian government to commit at least A$20 million ($14 million) for measures such as seawalls to shield the islands from rising sea levels.

The complaint is the latest in a string of climate change cases worldwide targeting companies and governments, which lawyers expect will proliferate.

“I think that probably these types of actions will fail initially,” said Andrew Korbel, a partner at law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Read more at Australia’s Islanders Complain to U.N. over Australia’s Climate Change Inaction

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