Make waves beyond our island: climate change action

Campaigns and Advocacy, Media Releases article written on the 28 Aug 2009

Learn about the power of online campaigning at special Oxfam events, A Climate for Change – Make Waves Beyond Our Island, on Monday 31 October in Hobart, and Thursday 3 September in Launceston.
Founder of Oxfam’s innovative social networking website, A Climate for Change, Tom Schauble, will outline the many ways in which people can join the thousands of Australians making their voices heard on climate change.
Oxfam’s Tasmanian Chairperson Renata Sain said Tasmanians had a vital role to play in convincing the Australian Government to support a fair, safe global agreement this December at the UN Climate Negotiations in Copenhagen.
“Many Tasmanians are implementing lifestyle changes to do their bit to fight climate change,” Ms Sain said. “The events will focus on the bigger picture, showing that people in developing countries are already being hit hardest, despite being least responsible for causing the problem.”
She said that as a leading agency working with poor people around the world, Oxfam was seeing the world’s most vulnerable facing greater droughts, floods, hunger and disease.
In our own region, Pacific Islanders are facing increasing food and water shortages, losing land and being forced from their homes, dealing with rising cases of malaria, and coping with more frequent flooding and storm surges.
“Poor people will simply get poorer unless something is done, fast. 2009 is the year we can put things right,” Ms Sain said.
“This is also in Australia’s national interest, and could be achieved without sacrificing our economic security. Australia needs to weigh up the cost of stronger targets against the huge financial cost of assisting in a future torrent of climate change-related humanitarian crises.”
In just the next six years the number of people affected by climate-related disasters is likely to increase by 54 per cent, to 375 million people, costing the world US$42 billion in humanitarian aid a year.
Australia, as one of the world’s highest per capita polluters, can play a positive role in getting a global agreement on climate change that is fair and safe, by setting a 40 per cent emissions reduction target, which is what the science says is needed to avoid dangerous climate change.
As part of getting a global agreement that is fair and safe, Australia should also help developing countries reduce their emissions and fund adaptation to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.
“The Australian Government’s rhetoric on climate change now needs to be matched by strong action,” Ms Sain said.
EVENT DETAILS: Monday 31 August – Republic Bar, 299 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart, 6pm; Thursday 3 September – The Royal Oak Hotel, 14 Brisbane Street, Launceston, 6pm. Contact Ros Lewis on 0437 741 677.
Media enquiries to Laurelle Keough, Media Coordinator – Advocacy & Campaigns, on 0409 960 100. Go to