One of the areas recently that has most given me hope that we might be able to avoid catastrophic warming, is the successful legal challenges that have been happening around the world and here in Australia. It seems when the scientific evidence is presented in a courtroom, judgements are increasingly unable to rule against them. 

On July 8, after an extraordinary legal challenge brought by eight children, the Federal Court of Australia confirmed that the Federal Environment Minister has a duty of care to avoid causing personal injury and death to Australian children from carbon emissions when approving a coal extension project. 

The Federal Government has signalled its intention to appeal the declaration (and contest it using public funds) and to avoid its duty of care to protect Aussie children. 

In the same week, a Dutch court determined that Royal Dutch Shell is required to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030, compared to 2019 levels. That claim was brought by seven environmental associations and NGOs acting as co-claimants. 

The Court determined that under the Dutch Civil Code, Shell had to take adequate action to curb contributions to climate change, even as a private company and not a state actor. The implications for this, even if it is overturned, are huge.  

CLIMATE ACTION OF THE MONTH – SUPPORT LEGAL ACTIONS THAT SEEK TO CURB EMISSIONS

Australian Parents for Climate Action have launched a petition to allow Australian families to show their support to the eight children. In signing the petition, ap4ca.org/protectourkids, so we can demonstrate the public mandate is for the government to support this declaration and not to waste public funds in fighting it.  

You can find Sunshine Coast Parents for Climate Action on Facebook or via ap4ca.org. We meet at Homegrown Café in Palmwoods for a casual and friendly get-together complete with children’s activities and face painting. The next meeting is September 14 at 9.30am.