SVP Submission on Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2020
Community Law & Mediation, Jesuit Centre for Faith & Justice and the Society of St Vincent de Paul, informed by our work with communities experiencing poverty, social exclusion or inequality, have a number of concerns with the Bill.
In particular the following:
a. The failure to define climate justice or include Just Transition.
b. The inadequacy of the provisions of the Bill regarding public engagement.
c. The membership composition of the Climate Change Advisory Council.
Why are Climate Justice & Just Transition important?
It is clear that climate change is having and will continue to have a profound effect on all aspects of human life. Those experiencing poverty, social exclusion or inequality will feel the effects most deeply. These people and communities are traditionally least responsible for climate change. But also the people and communities with the least ability to adapt and respond to its effects.
There is also a risk that climate action policies will exacerbate existing inequalities (e.g. energy poverty). Climate adaptation policies take into account the difference in vulnerability of individuals and groups to the projected impacts of a changing climate.
Climate justice ensures that the specific needs of those experiencing poverty, inequality or social exclusion are taken into account. Especially when developing climate and sustainable development policies.
Just Transition is critical if we are to respect the rights of those most vulnerable to climate change. And ensure that no worker or community is left behind in making the changes needed to achieve the emissions targets set out in the Bill.