Saturday, 1 July 2017

UN tells Australian gov to stop supporting coal mines

A UN committee reviewing Australia's performance with human rights has cited the gov's obsession with coal as a breach of it's obligations under the Paris climate agreement.

The committee also said climate change was a threat to human rights and therefore high polluting coal could be viewed as a breach of human rights.

A UN committee has urged Australia to review its support for expanded coal production, just as Malcolm Turnbull’s government considers loaning Indian company Adani almost $1bn towards a massive new mine project in Queensland.

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), which reports to the UN high commissioner on human rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said Australia’s increasing carbon footprint was “at risk of worsening in the coming years” undermining the country’s pledges to the Paris climate agreement.

 In a periodic review of Australia’s performance under a UN treaty on human rights, released this week, the committee noted: “environmental protection has decreased in recent years as shown by the repeal of the Emissions Trading Scheme in 2013, and the State party’s ongoing support to new coal mines and coal-fired power stations”.

 In light of this, the committee of 18 international human rights experts encouraged Australia to “review its position in support of coal mines and coal export”.

The UN recognises that climate change is a threat to human rights. Coal mining and other highly-polluting industries could therefore be viewed as contravening international treaty obligations.

 Aside from curbing coal mining, the CESCR recommended Australia’s government immediately introduce new measures to cut its growing carbon emissions and expand renewable energy production. Climate Change News