Oxfam welcomes new climate change course set by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

Campaigns and Advocacy, Media Releases article written on the 11 Dec 2007

Oxfam Australia today welcomed many aspects of the new climate change course set for Australia by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in his address to delegates at the opening of today’s UN Climate Change talks in Bali.
In a clear break from the previous Government’s position, Prime Minister Rudd defined climate change as the defining challenge for our generation. A challenge for which there is no plan B.
‘Oxfam Australia in particular welcomes Prime Minister Rudd’s commitment to a global multilateral solution to climate change through the United Nations,’ said Oxfam Australia Policy Director, James Ensor. ‘We hope now that Australia will contribute its fair share to combating climate change,’ he added.
Oxfam Australia believes Prime Minister Rudd’s recognition of the importance of technology transfer to developing countries is another important contribution to the negotiations at this critical time, with the United States, Canada, Japan and Australia being criticised for downplaying the importance of technology transfer in the negotiations.
‘The outcomes of Bali will be a matter of life and death for tens of millions of poor people in developing countries;’ said Mr Ensor. ‘The science is in and we have a 10-15 year window to begin to reduce global emissions if we are to avoid potentially catastrophic climate change.’
Mr Ensor said that injustice lies at the heart of climate change. ‘In calling for developing countries to contribute to the climate change solution, the Australian Government must recognise that the poor women and men in developing countries who are bearing the brunt of the consequences of climate change are those least responsible for generating the Co2 emissions which have triggered the climate crisis.’
According to Oxfam it is for this reason that poor people must be at the heart of the climate change solution. ‘The Bali Roadmap must enable them to be better able to cope with the impacts of climate change. Adaptation and mitigation need to be given equal weighting and are inter-related. The longer we take to begin to reduce emissions (mitigation), the higher the human and financial cost of assisting developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change,’ said Mr Ensor.
Oxfam urges the Australian Government to use its renewed influence to drive an agreement on climate change action that is fair and equitable in Bali this week. This will mean that countries shoulder responsibility for mitigation and adaptation in line with their historical responsibility for emissions and their capacity to assist developing countries to adapt to climate change.
‘The Post 2012 Agreement must reduce emissions to keep global warming below 2 degrees. Rich countries including Australia must reduce emissions by at least 30% from 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050 as well as pay our fair share of adaptation financing, ‘added Mr Ensor.
For more information or to arrange an interview with James Ensor call Ian Woolverton on 0409 181 454