1 December 2021

The Human Rights Law Centre has produced a report outlining the systematic repression of climate activism in Australia, through the “introduction of harsh and at times unconstitutional, anti-protest laws targeting climate defenders… enforcement of punitive bail conditions and excessive penalties for minor protest related offences… [s]tifling civil society by defunding climate education and threatening to deregister charities that engage in climate activism” and “[t]argeting activists with litigation, and surveilling and infiltrating climate defender groups”. They note: “In the face of governments’ inertia, climate activism has been vital in helping persuade big business to change their ways: Equinor, BP, Santos and Chevron have abandoned risky oil drilling plans in the Great Australian Bight, Australia’s four major banks have agreed to exit the thermal coal sector on or before 2035, and Australian corporations including Coca Cola Amatil, Bunnings Warehouse and Officeworks have committed to sourcing 100 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025. Global Warning calls for urgent and immediate reform to stop the attack on climate defenders, including by establishing a federal integrity commission, capping political donations, and strengthening legal protections for activists by introducing an Australian Charter of Human Rights.” Read the full report.