Oxfam Australia today urged Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to show world leaders the way and commit the nation to a global fund to provide the world’s poor with the resources necessary to adapt to the worst impacts of climate change as well as ratify the Kyoto Protocol at this week’s UN Bali Climate Change Conference.
The call comes as Oxfam Australia’s climate policy advisor, Charlotte Sterrett publishes a new international report in Bali titled, ‘Financing Adaptation: Why the UN’s Bali Climate Conference must mandate the search for new funds.’
Authored by Ms Sterrett the report estimates that adapting to climate change will cost at least $54bn annually and far more if global greenhouse gas emissions are not cut fast. Australia’s fair share of this global amount is around $1.5 billion. Yet, to date, the nation has pledged a mere $7.5 million – the amount Australians spend on air-conditioners and desk fans every two days.
‘Climate change is arguably the gravest threat ever faced by humanity,’ said Ms Sterrett. ‘But it is the world’s poor who are least responsible for climate change who will be affected worst and first. They cannot and must not be expected to shoulder the costs thrust upon them by the developed world.’
Published worldwide today, the briefing paper calls on the nation’s richest countries, including Australia, to commit to funding that will help poor countries adapt to climate change. The paper urges rich country delegates to agree a five point ‘Bali Mandate’ as a road map to tackle climate change. The Bali Mandate states:
- rich countries must agree to negotiate a post-2012 Kyoto climate change agreement that includes additional funding for the Adaptation Fund
- rich countries must put the needs of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities first in tackling climate change
- rich countries must acknowledge that existing funding on climate change adaptation is inadequate and must be increased dramatically
- rich countries must not siphon off overseas aid budgets to provide funds to tackle climate change
- all countries must invest in understanding climate change adaptation needs and responses as well as the total aid/climate financing package
Oxfam warned that the world runs the risk of exacerbating human poverty unless immediate action is taken to help poor countries with the cost of adaptation this week in Bali. ‘At home Australia is investing almost $15 billion to build the nation’s resilience to climate change,’ added Ms Sterrett. ‘They know the scale of the problem but nations like Australia are stalling when it comes to providing funds for poorer countries to do the same.’
To arrange an interview with Charlotte Sterrett call Ian Woolverton on +61 409 181 454