Court action from Torres Strait leaders over Australia’s failure to cut emissions comes with an urgency that is impossible to overstate
With the UN climate summit now less than a week away, the Australian government is failing to meet even the exceptionally low expectations on climate action reserved for Australia’s political leaders. Although Scott Morrison’s government has announced a highly qualified net zero target, it has failed to address its manifestly inadequate carbon emissions reduction target for 2030 despite clear warnings from scientists that global emissions need to be halved in the next decade. Meanwhile leaked documents suggest Australian officials have been trying to delete references to phasing out coal-fired power stations from an upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.
For Morrison, the UN summit and heightened international scrutiny of Australia’s abysmal federal climate policies cannot be over soon enough. However, there will be no escaping accountability for his government’s actions at home, as this week First Nations’ leaders from the Torres Strait have filed a groundbreaking court case challenging Australia’s failure to cut emissions and avert the destruction of their homes and communities.