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Five Australian teenagers have filed complaints of human rights abuses with three United Nations bodies for what they claim is the Australian government’s climate inaction.
Young people, including members of the First Nations Indigenous community and people with disabilities, argue that the target adopted to reduce emissions by 2030 does not guarantee the rights of all young people in Australia, putting them at risk of significant harm from climate change, according to Guardian Australia. The group’s complaint is represented by the group’s volunteer lawyers environmental justice australia, the 26th COP climate conference in Glasgow is preceded by a few days, where key allies of Australia, such as the United States and Great Britain, hope to see improvements in reducing emissions.

Australia currently has a 2030 target of 26-28% cuts from 2005 levels, a target that has been widely criticized as inconsistent with scientific advice and insufficient to slow global warming. The group calls on UN Special Rapporteurs to pressure the Canberra government to increase its 2030 emissions reduction targets. And to demand clarification from Canberra on how its inaction on climate change aligns with its commitments to the human rights of young people. According to Australian environmental justice lawyer Holly Kerwin, the legal action is important because UN special rapporteurs have the power to investigate human rights abuses and report to both the Australian representation at the UN and the organization’s Human Rights Council.

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