The EDO ACT was pleased to host the webcast of the Brisbane forum where Marjan Minnesma, Executive Director of the Urgenda Foundation spoke about the recent climate action run by Urgenda Foundation in the Netherlands. The opportunity provided EDO members and supporters with a unique insight into this landmark litigation.
Urgenda successfully sued the Dutch government, persuading a Dutch court to order the government to take accelerated action to reduce CO2 emissions, namely a reduction of between 25-40% of 1990 CO₂ emission levels by 2020.
Such decisions are especially important for Australia which has disproportionately produced higher emissions, remaining the world’s biggest emitter of CO2 per capita, with 19 tonnes being emitted per person*. This clearly shows that Australia is a contributor to climate change.
Our Federal Government is actively avoiding considering the climate change impacts of the expansion of our fossil fuel industry. Prime Minister, Tony Abbott: “The climate change argument is absolute crap, however the politics are tough for us because 80 per cent of people believe climate change is a real and present danger.”
The action taken by groups such as the Urgenda Foundation is of particular importance to the EDOs as we are community legal centres specialising in public interest environmental law. The recent Urgenda case has rekindled interest in the issue of climate change and the role of the law in dealing with it.
The EDOs are currently undertaking research into the possibilities for climate change litigation against the Australian government.
Watch the video of the webcast here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a96TuKlHfU
For more information on the Urgenda Foundation, see here: http://www.urgenda.nl/en/
* PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Trends in global CO2 emissions; 2012 Report.