Tianjin, China – Governments from around the world, including Australia, must design an effective fund that will help the world’s poor adapt to climate change, international aid agency Oxfam said today as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference begins in Tianjin, China.
Oxfam Australia Climate Change Advisor Kelly Dent said that the talks were a crucial moment in global efforts to bring about a legally binding agreement on climate change that would commit to emissions reductions targets and assist those worst affected.
“This week’s conference in Tianjin is a key part of the world’s second chance to move forward on a deal on climate change – if world leaders can put the nuts and bolts of an agreement on the table, we’ll be more likely to see significant progress towards a deal in the near future,” Ms Dent said.
“One of the major sticking points at the climate change talks in Copenhagen last December was finance to assist poor people in developing countries who are already facing increased floods, droughts and storms as a result of climate change – these people simply cannot afford to wait any longer to receive the assistance that they desperately need.
“While world leaders at Copenhagen committed to try to find $US100 billion for climate change adaptation and mitigation, no decisions were made as to how this money will be sourced, how it will be spent, and who will manage and disperse it.”
Ms Dent said Australia, as a developed nation with high levels of per-capita emissions, must show leadership at the talks.
“While Australia has committed to $AUD355 million to climate finance since Copenhagen, this is currently coming out of our existing international aid commitments which will see money diverted away from other vital projects in areas such as water and sanitation, health and education,” Ms Dent said.
“Leaders participating in the talks must also look at how to ensure the money is dispersed transparently and ways developing countries can be genuinely included in decisions as to how it is spent.”
The talks begin today Monday October 4 and continue until Saturday October 9.
Oxfam Australia Climate Change Advisor Kelly Dent is in Tianjin, China. To interview her or more information, contact:
Oxfam Hong Kong Media Coordinator Thomas Lau in Tianjin on +86 (0) 137 5210 5124
Oxfam Australia Media Coordinator Sunita Bose in Sydney on +61 407 555 960
QUICK FACTS: CHINA AND CLIMATE CHANGE
China’s per-capita emissions are one-fifth of the average Australian.
China has announced it will introduce an emissions trading scheme from 2011.
Last year China invested US $34.6 billion in clean energy last year compared with Australia’s investment of US $1 billion.
China is home to 20 per cent of the world’s poor and is one of the many developing countries severely affected by climate change.
Earlier this year, almost 20 million people in south-west China were left without adequate water supplies as a result of the worst drought in a century.