Oxfam’s Reaction to PM Rudd’s Statement on Climate Change in Cairns

Campaigns and Advocacy, Media Releases article written on the 05 Aug 2009

Oxfam Australia Executive Director Andrew Hewett:
“The Australian Government’s focus on climate change in the Pacific is welcome but falls short of the response required to tackle the already devastating impacts of climate change in the region.
What is needed is action that matches the ambition of the words.
Action means –
• Increasing Australia’s emissions reduction target to 40 per cent by 2020, which is what the science tells us is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change, and encouraging other developed countries to do the same.
• Significantly more money towards community-level adaptation measures in the Pacific. The current $150 million, committed in the lead-up to the 2007 election, needs to be at least doubled to meet just the most urgent adaptation needs in the region.
• Adaptation funding needs to be additional to the aid budget. Otherwise, it would take vital funds away from health, education and efforts to reduce poverty in our region. Globally, Australia’s fair share of adaptation financing is $4.3 billion. An agreement on financing is crucial to the success of a global climate deal at Copenhagen.
• People in the Pacific are telling us they find it difficult to access the funding already available. To make it easier, adaptation funds need to be channelled through the UN system in a simple and transparent way.
• It is encouraging that the Federal Government wants to engage on the issue of people being forced to move because of climate change. Such engagement is urgently needed, given the reality that people are already on the move as a result of climate change.”