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Australia and Torres Strait Islanders sue the government: ‘Act against change…

by Mariana Grazi

This island is me, and I am this island“, Dice Wadhuam Papai Papai About the homeland he has always known, where he was born and raised. “I can’t imagine being forced to leave Boigu… I’m there 65,000 years of wealth and experience are hereAdds a father of seven children. Losing Boigu, his home, his island in Torres StraitIn Australia, it means losing it all.

But where does this fear come from? The “survival” of these islands is seriously threatened Climate change. I high seas In the strait, the world average speed has doubled and has increased by 6 cm over the past decade. With no urgent cuts in emissions, projections predict a rise of up to one meter by the end of the century, causing it to happen The most severe climatic conditionsAnd erosion and flood, threatening the fresh water supply in the island region. For this Wadhuam Papai Papai, with another island dweller, Wadhuam Paul Kabai, filed a class action on behalf of their communities claiming that Commonwealth of Australia behaving illegally in failing to tackle climate change that, if left unchecked, will destroy their lands.

According to residents, the Australian government should Reduce emissions by 74% by 2030 (from 2005 levels) to save Torres Strait lands from the ruthless incursion of the sea, from damage caused by storms and from being uninhabitable. Boigu and Saibai, two of Australia’s most northerly populated islands, have a flat and barely 1.5 meters above sea level. As a result, they are already regularly inundated with seawater, spoiling and destroying homes, streets, cemeteries, cultural sites, and gardens where locals grow their food.

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Popeye Popeye and Paul Capbay, in the case against the Commonwealth of Australia, draw – if not direct precedent – from the case of Holland known as “The Urgenda Case”. The plaintiff argued in 886 that the Dutch government has an obligation to protect its citizens from the effects of climate change. It was a precedent, presented by the government to the country’s Supreme Court, successful at all levels. So much so that it led to a drastic change in Dutch government policy, including coal plants closedIn billions of euros Investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and binding obligations to Reduce emissions. Other similar measures have been followed in Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Germany, France, New Zealand and elsewhere.

However, the decision on ‘Urgenda’ was based primarily on the European Convention on Human Rights – in particular on Articles 2 and 8, which preserve the right to life and to a private and family life – a law that clearly does not apply to Australia. However, the plaintiffs’ lawyers say they want to argue that the Commonwealth of Australia has Legal ‘duty of care’ towards peoples of the Torres Strait Islands, resulting from both the Neglect Act and the Torres Strait Treaty and the original ownership. “had become Climate refugees It means losing everything: our home, our culture, our stories, our identity. If you take our home We don’t know who we areAn argument for institutions.

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