The Latest by Noni Austin

Guest Author

Noni is an Australian lawyer working with the International Program. With expertise in natural resources and international law, Noni heads Earthjustice's work to stop the expansion of fossil fuel exploitation and export from Australia, one of the world’s largest exporters of coal.

Photo of an Australian woman holding a protest sign reading, "Climate Action Now."
January 21, 2021

Rising Temperatures in the Land Down Under are a Human Rights Issue

A coalition of international and Australian environmental and human rights lawyers are calling for the United Nations Human Rights Council to review Australia’s human rights record in light of the government's inaction on climate change.

A green sea turtle in the Great Barrier Reef
June 24, 2020

With the Great Barrier Reef on the Brink, Australia’s Climate Policy is Adrift at Sea

The World Heritage Committee should encourage Australia to take meaningful action to protect this ocean treasure.

A volunteer feeds a baby koala injured in Australia's catastrophic fires in January 2020.
January 8, 2020

Australia Is on Fire and Its Government Is Blowing Smoke

Attorney Noni Austin explains how the Australian prime minister says the country is doing its fair share to combat the climate crisis — but Australia is now the world’s No. 1 exporter of both coal and gas.

Wangan and Jagalingou cultural leader Adrian Burragubba visits Doongmabulla Springs, his people's most sacred site. The Wangan and Jagalingou are fighting a proposed coal mine that would likely destroy the springs.
August 15, 2018

Indigenous Australians Take Fight Against Giant Coal Mine to the United Nations

To protect their fundamental human rights, the Wangan and Jagalingou have been forced to seek help from a United Nations watchdog.

A diver checks out the coral bleaching at Heron Island in February 2016. This area was one of the first to bleach at Heron Island,  located close to the southern most point of the Great Barrier Reef.
July 21, 2017

Protecting coral reefs: World Heritage Committee pressures nations to take climate action

Mass coral bleaching due to rising sea temperatures is killing the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs around the world.

A sea turtle swims over bleached coral on Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef.
April 7, 2017

Saving Coral Reefs from Death by Fossil Fuels

Earthjustice staff urge the World Heritage Committee to put pressure on big polluters to stop their single-minded pursuit of dirty fossil fuels, in order to protect humanity’s most precious places.

Abbot Point, Queensland, Australia. Source:
November 17, 2015

Corporate Group with a Dubious Record Plans Massive Coal Projects

The corporate group that wants to build one of the biggest coal mines in the world and expand a coal port on the Great Barrier Reef has a terrible track record of harm to the environment.

Wangan and Jagalingou people protest against the Carmichael coal mine.
October 7, 2015

Indigenous Australians Take On Massive Coal Mine

Indigenous Australians are taking their fight against one of the largest proposed coal mines in the world to the international community.

The Great Barrier Reef
July 2, 2015

International Community Seriously Concerned About Coal Endangering the Great Barrier Reef

A recent decision made by the World Heritage Committee raises significant global concern about the Great Barrier Reef’s health and what Australia is risking in exchange for profits from exported coal.

Fish and coral in the Great Barrier Reef
June 15, 2015

Global Hunger for Coal Endangers the Great Barrier Reef

Australia’s planned expansion of coal mining and export terminals near the Great Barrier Reef threatens this iconic World Heritage site, and the World Heritage Committee must step up to protect it.