Learn how climate change is affecting communities in Africa and find out how to contribute to the solution at a Make Poverty History Climate Change Forum – An African Story on Climate Change, on Thursday 11 September.
The event, at Murdoch University, includes a question and answer session with Oxfam Australia’s Mozambique program coordinator Charmaine Consul Gonçalves – who grew up in Broome – followed by a ‘carbon neutral barbecue’ and the chance to contribute to a giant petition in the shape of planet Earth.
Ms Consul Gonçalves lived and worked in Mozambique for 11 years: “The continent of Africa has one of the lightest carbon footprints in the world, but is paying a very heavy price for human-induced climate change,” Ms Gonçalves said.
“Erratic rainfall is causing havoc in Mozambique. The strange pattern of drought followed by excessive rains and flooding prevents crops from being able to grow, and so people are struggling to eat.”
Make Poverty History spokesperson Paddy Cullen said the forum would give people an understanding of the toll climate change was already taking on people in developing countries.
“Climate change already may be killing 150,000 each year, according to the World Health Organisation,” Mr Cullen said. “If climate change is not averted, an additional 80 to 120 million people will be at risk of hunger.
Seventy to 80 per cent of these will be in Africa, where decreasing rainfall and increased drought is adding to existing problems of chronic poverty and food shortages.”
“We’re all in this together; climate change affects us all,” Mr Cullen said. “But it is people in developing countries who are most affected, despite the fact that they are the ones least responsible for creating the problem in the first place.”
Mr Cullen said that as one of the world’s highest per person emitters of greenhouse gases, Australia had a responsibility to help developing countries cope with climate change. Countries such as Tuvalu and Kiribati in the Pacific region are set to disappear because of rising sea levels.
The Make Poverty History coalition is calling on the Australian Government to see the bigger picture and act on climate change, by:
• Agreeing to cut Australia’s greenhouse pollution by at least 40 per cent by 2020 and at least 95 per cent by 2050 (on 1990 levels);
• Providing developing countries with adequate financial assistance to help them adapt to climate change;
• Helping developing countries to access renewable energy technologies, and
• Negotiating for a just and equitable post-2012 international agreement on climate change (after the Kyoto Protocol expires).
Murdoch University (Education and Humanities Common Room EH 2.21)
11.30am – 12.30pm – Forum
12.30 – 1.30pm – Lunch and activities in the Bush Court
RSVP by 7 September to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hold your own climate change forum with friends, family or colleagues. Download a new climate change DVD and find information and resources at www.makepovertyhistory.com.au
For further information or interviews, please contact Laurelle Keough, media coordinator – Advocacy & Campaigns, at Oxfam Australia, on 0409 960 100, email@example.com