The climate crisis is one of the most significant human rights issues to date, threatening the enjoyment of a full range of human rights, for present and future generations.
Despite the impact that climate change is already having on human rights, and that it will continue to accelerate in the future, Australia’s policies are exacerbating climate change and the existential threats it poses to human rights.
While climate change affects all, the rights of Indigenous peoples in Australia are at higher risk. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change due to their deep connection to country.
Governments worldwide recognise the urgency of climate action, with Australia’s major trading partners – China, Japan, South Korea, the UK and the EU – having clear commitments to net-zero emissions and strengthening their near-term commitments. The US under the incoming Biden administration is set to follow. Australia currently has no long-term plan for action.
A clear commitment to net-zero emissions is an essential first step towards Australia playing its part in tackling the global climate crisis. Amnesty International Australia has submitted to the inquiry into ‘the Climate Change Bills’ currently before the Australian Parliament, calling for action.