Harrison: Reading about the recent ruling, I feel full of despair, as do many other young people across Australia. Coming from Tropical North Queensland, I’ve seen firsthand the damage that climate change has done to the Great Barrier Reef.
I remember a rich, vibrant tapestry of colours, only to return several years later to a dead, grey mess. The reef supports thousands of jobs in my local community. Without it, what will become of our future?
We don’t want to live in a world where everything we work for can be swept away in a flood or burnt to ashes in a matter of minutes. We don’t want to live in a world where children, like ourselves, are displaced from their homes due to sea level rise. We don’t want to live in a world where we don’t get the same opportunities as our parents enjoyed.
It is vitally important that all sides of politics act to cut emissions to net zero by 2050 at the latest. At this point, it is not just about making children’s lives better – it is also about preventing our lives from becoming worse.
The environment minister may not have a legal duty to protect us from the climate crisis, but they most definitely have a moral duty.
I urge all side of government to adopt ambitious targets, because our future is at stake.
Harrison, 18, is a UNICEF Australia Young Ambassador. He lives in far north Queensland and is studying a double degree in Advanced Computing (Research and Development) and Politics, Philosophy and Economics.