The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been reminded of his legal duty to protect the Great Barrier Reef from climate change, following Australia’s performance at the COP 26 climate conference in Glasgow earlier this month.
EDO client Greenpeace Australia Pacific delivered the legal letter to the Prime Minister’s residence at Kirribilli House in Sydney on Tuesday.
The letter was penned by EDO lawyers and sets out Mr Morrison’s power and duty to protect the Great Barrier Reef, which is both a World Heritage site and a national icon.
The letter asks that Mr Morrison communicate a greenhouse gas emissions target that’s consistent with the survival of the Reef – at least 74% reduction by 2030, net zero by 2035. Alternatively, it asks Mr Morrison to explain how the 26-28% reduction pledge the Australian Government took to Glasgow meets his domestic and international obligations to protect the Reef.
EDO CEO David Morris said:
“The actions taken by the Prime Minister at COP26 in preparing and communicating an NDC that is wholly inconsistent with efforts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5° Celsius constitute a breach of Australia’s international obligations to protect the Reef from climate change.
“The Federal Government is aware of, and acknowledges, the existential threat posed by climate change to the Reef. Yet its current NDC is wholly inconsistent with the ongoing survival of the Reef – an Australian icon – and its transmission to future generations.”
Read our letter to the Prime Minister: