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The Global Intiative for Economic, Social & Cultural Rights submits parallel report to the ESCR Committee for the periodic review of Australia

Author: The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural rights, Published on: 1 April 2017

"Parallel Report submitted by the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR) to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on the occasion of the consideration of the Fifth Periodic Report of Australia during the Committee’s 61st Session", April 2017

Australia's decisions, actions and omission are contributing to climate change and its human rights impacts. According to Greenpeace, Australia is “the world’s largest coal exporter [and] will export a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in its coal this year [2016], erasing the few benefits of meeting its weak Paris target and worsening its contribution to global climate change.”...Australia is violating its obligation to protect Covenant rights by failing to ensure that private actors don’t exacerbate climate change. One example is that of Australian banks, which reportedly invested $7 billion more in fossil fuels than in renewable energy sources in 2016 despite pledging during the Paris Climate Agreement negotiations to help Australia transition to a low carbon economy...In order to meet its obligations under the Covenant, Australia should urgently strive to meet the overarching Paris Climate Agreement commitment of limiting warming to no mare than 2C. To accomplish this, more than ninety per cent of Australia’s coal reserves must be left in the ground...Australia’s climate change impact affects both those under Australia’s national and territorial jurisdiction, but also has extra-territorial affects that violate its extra-territorial obligations under the Covenant...The State Party has obligations to prioritize Covenant rights in decisions, actions and omission in order to prevent contributing to climate change and it is clear what steps should be deliberately taken to meet those obligations...

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