The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act is the central piece of Australia’s environmental protection framework.
It gives Australia’s environment minister a vital responsibility: the fate of nationally significant places, ecosystems, plants and wildlife.
The minister must protect thousands of animal and plant species at risk of extinction, as well as places of deep significance for First Nations people, World Heritage sites, National Parks, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and internationally significant wetlands and marine environments.
Here's how climate damage will push them to the brink
Until now, Australia’s previous environment ministers have not considered the climate impact of coal and gas proposals on any of these living wonders.
ECoCeQ’s legal intervention seeks to change this. They are calling on Tanya Plibersek to face the evidence, listen, and act.
You can search the evidence on specific plant or animal species, place, marine areas or ecosystem communities – or keep reading to explore the evidence within each category.
The science is unequivocal
Until now, Australia’s past environment ministers have overlooked much of this science. For years, they have refused to consider the risk of harm from climate change, fuelled by coal and gas. This legal request seeks to change that.
We believe concerned citizens, journalists and advocates across Australia and around the world should also have access to this evidence.
This is particularly important, given Australian scientists say the suppression of environment research is getting worse, with many banned from speaking out about their work or pressured to downplay their research findings. The federal government allegedly tried to bury research exposing a huge underspend on Australian threatened species, and deliberately withheld the 2021 State of the Environment Report to avoid “bad news” before an election.
More than half of environmental scientists working for Australian federal and state governments report having been routinely “prohibited from communicating scientific information” about logging, mining, threatened species and other environmental problems. As the authors of this study note, “This information blackout, termed ‘science suppression’, can hide environmentally damaging practices and policies from public scrutiny. The practice is detrimental to both nature and democracy.”