Carbon capture and storage too far away: Oxfam

Campaigns and Advocacy, Media Releases article written on the 10 Jul 2009

Oxfam Australia’s response to Kevin Rudd’s joint announcement with Barack Obama

Carbon capture and storage – the burying of carbon emissions from coal – is years away from being commercially viable and will not alone solve the climate crisis which is currently plunging millions of people deeper into poverty, says Oxfam Australia.
Whilst Prime Minister Kevin Rudd received praise from world leaders for the Carbon Capture and Storage Institute initiative, Oxfam Australia’s climate change policy advisor Julie-Anne Richards said it would be more impressive if the Australian Government were showing leadership on expanding existing renewable technologies.
“The technology to successfully capture and store carbon from coal is years away,” Ms Richards said. “On its own it is not going to allow us to achieve the deep cuts in emissions the science says we need to make to keep warming to 2 degrees, and help millions of people in poor countries who are feeling the impacts of climate change right now.
“It needs to be coupled with a scaling up of existing renewable technologies and the setting of a science-based 40 per cent emissions reductions target by 2020 if Australia is to have any hope of providing real, genuine leadership on the world stage.”
Meanwhile, Oxfam Australia welcomed the announcement by US President Barack Obama that G20 finance ministers will ‘take up climate financing issues’ and report back to the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh later in the year.
“A failure to deliver the finance that developing countries need to reduce their emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change would be a deal-breaker for developing countries, derailing any chance of securing a global deal at Copenhagen in December,” she said.
“Barack Obama’s announcement provides a ray of hope that this deadlock could be broken.”
Oxfam research shows that $187 billion a year is needed to help poor countries reduce their emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change.
An Oxfam report, Suffering the Science – Climate Change, People and Poverty, released on Monday, revealed farmers throughout the world are reporting that changing seasons are destroying harvests and causing widespread hunger.
It warned that without urgent action on climate change, 50 years of development gains in poor countries would be permanently lost.
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