Advocates want Australia’s youth to have a seat at the table on the nation’s climate action plan, which has been deemed as one of the least ambitious of top polluters.
Save the Children Australia wants youth to have a say on policy as they are the most affected by climate change.
Instead, youth have been discouraged from attending rallies like the School Strikes 4 Climate, the aid agency’s boss Paul Ronalds says.
“The climate emergency is here and children’s voices must be heard given the immediate and long term impact it has for them,” he said.
“Changes in temperature, air and water quality and nutrition have severe and long-term impacts on a child’s health, development and well-being.”
The advocacy group has pointed to the devastating “Black Summer” bushfires, where 14,000 children were displaced.
A recent survey undertaken by Save the Children found 90 per cent of Australian children and young people do not feel heard by leaders on the environment.
Meanwhile, a review of climate action by countries responsible for 90 per cent of global climate pollution – 57 countries and the European Union – has found Australia’s policy at the tail end of the pack.
Australia was second-last behind Donald Trump’s America, with President-elect Joe Biden’s ambitious policies expected to lift the US up the list.
The nations with the highest marks for climate policy are Finland, Sweden and Portugal.
The analysis was undertaken by non-government organisations Germanwatch, Climate Action Network and the NewClimate Institute.
The reports come ahead of a climate action summit convened by British leader Boris Johnson to be held on December 12.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to announce Australia won’t use so-called “carry-over credits” to reach emissions reduction goals, an accounting tool not given the nod by the Paris Agreement rules.
No other country was planning to count emissions progress using the method.