Human rights review finds Australia’s coal production ambitions will contribute to dangerous climate change and asks government to reconsider

Australian protesters wear masks of prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and chairman of Adani Enterprises Gautam Adani (Photo: John Englart)

A UN committee has urged Australia to review its support for expanded coal production, just as Malcolm Turnbull’s government considers loaning Indian company Adani almost $1bn towards a massive new mine project in Queensland.

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), which reports to the UN high commissioner on human rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said Australia’s increasing carbon footprint was “at risk of worsening in the coming years” undermining the country’s pledges to the Paris climate agreement.

In a periodic review of Australia’s performance under a UN treaty on human rights, released this week, the committee noted: “environmental protection has decreased in recent years as shown by the repeal of the Emissions Trading Scheme in 2013, and the State party’s ongoing support to new coal mines and coal-fired power stations”.

In light of this, the committee of 18 international human rights experts encouraged Australia to “review its position in support of coal mines and coal export”.

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