Litigation to drive climate action: judge

Former High Court Judge Robert French warns that Australian governments, big business and regulators face a growing tide of legal challenges because of climate change policy failures. 

He says this is also happening in Europe and North America and will drive policy change where years of scientific evidence has not.

He says people are not persuaded by arguments that Australia is compliant with international agreements on emissions or that we are only a small player – the 1.3% argument:

‘‘The collateral argument that the reduction of our emissions only withdraws a drop from the global ocean of CO2 becomes less and less convincing – not least because it can be applied to almost any country other than the United States, India and China.’’  (story published in the Australian Financial Review 6/2)

A week ago Friends of the Earth Australia joined with bushfire victims to make an official complaint against the ANZ bank alleging that the ANZ – which remains Australia’s largest financier of fossil fuel industries – has failed to meaningfully adhere to the Paris Agreement reduction targets across its lending portfolio. See here.

The complaint submits that meeting Paris Agreement targets requires divestment from fossil fuel industries including a bank-wide ban on financing new coal-fired power plants. 

It was submitted to the Australian Government’s OECD National Contact Point which is responsible for hearing complaints of corporate wrong-doping under the OECD Guidelines.

A similar complaint was made in the Netherlands against the ING Bank that resulted in a negotiated agreement to end its financing of coal within 5 years.

More on climate in the news today:

Hazard reduction burning had little or no effect on burning – The Guardian

Let’s talk about gas. It’s expensive, dirty and struggling to compete against batteries – Renew Economy

RBA governor warns of ‘profound’ impact from climate change, urges investment – The Age

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