Monday, 28 September 2009
It is widely accepted that (i) there is an increase in global warming due to anthropomorphic activity (principally though greenhouse gas emissions), (ii) this increase in warming is/will result in climate change with a significant deleterious effect on natural environment, infrastructure and society, (iii) there is limited extant legislation and/or binding treaty which seeks to adapt human activities in order to reduce these emissions at the national or international level, and (iv) the continent and territorial waters of the Commonwealth of Australia are/will experience the negative effects of climate change earlier or to a greater degree than some other nations.
What is also beginning to emerge is the possibility that few, if any, national governments are willing to create legitimate policy or enact legislation which seeks to either curb actual greenhouse gas emissions or limit exposure to climate change impacts. To date political rhetoric on climate change has been profuse and relatively worthless.
It is also becoming apparent that with a few exceptions change of government is unlikely to lead to real policy change in relation to how a country deals with global warming and, in Australia, any change of government is just as likely to result in a weakening of structural response.
So when will Australians start to band together and sue one or all of the three tiers of government (under existing common, statute law and/or international treaty) in order to effect climate change mitigation?
An critique: CLIMATE CHANGE LITIGATION IN THE LAND AND ENVIRONMENT COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES AND OTHER COURTS,The Hon. Justice Brian J Preston Chief Judge Land and Environment Court of NSW,August 2009