ACT Greens welcome commitment to Right to Healthy Environment

Australian Greens

The ACT Greens have welcomed the commitment from the ACT Government to include the Right to a Healthy Environment into the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT).

“The Right to a Healthy Environment is about ensuring Canberrans have a right to clean air, a safe climate, healthy ecosystems and biodiversity. This is essential if we want healthy and sustainably produced food, clean water and a healthy planet,” said Jo Clay, ACT Greens MLA for Ginninderra.

In the 2020 election, the ACT Greens committed to ensuring we pass on a healthy environment to the next generation by making ‘the Right to a Healthy Environment’ part of our Human Rights Act. This was subsequently included in the Parliamentary and Governing Agreement for the 10th Assembly.

“I’m thrilled at the ACT Government’s commitment to work towards incorporating a Right to a Healthy Environment into our Human Rights Act,” said Ms Clay.

“We are a progressive jurisdiction and it is long past time that we recognise this human right. We must address the fact that we are living and breathing the consequences of an unhealthy environment on a daily basis, and including it as part of our Human Rights Act is a step in the right direction.

“In July this year, the United Nations recognised the Right to a Healthy Environment as a universal human right. Australia is one of only a few UN member states that does not already recognise this right.

“My hope is that, with the ACT leading the way, our nation will realise this right in the near future and do all we can to protect and improve our environment”.

“In February this year I called on the ACT Government to consult with stakeholders in the ACT community and provide a timeline for inclusion. The consultation, launched at the end of June this year, received over 500 submissions. I commend the ACT Government and Minister Cheyne for this work inviting the community to the conversation and listening to what they have to say,” said Ms Clay.

Background:

  • Previous ACT Greens media releases on the motion for a right to healthy environment here and here.
  • ACT Government’s Your Say consultation page here.

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