Oxfam welcomes beginning of Australia’s commitment to tackle climate change, but still a long way to go

Climate Change, Media Releases, News article written on the 10 Dec 2014

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Oxfam welcomes beginning of Australia’s commitment to tackle climate change, but still a long way to go

Oxfam today welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement it will contribute $200 million over 4 years to the Green Climate Fund, but said Australia still had a long way to go to make a fair contribution to global efforts to tackle climate change.

However, Oxfam Climate Change policy expert Kelly Dent, in Lima for the talks, criticised the Government for taking Australia’s contribution from an already diminished aid budget, and emphasised that climate finance must be in addition to existing aid promises.

“The Green Climate Fund is a central plank of the world’s response to climate change,” Ms Dent said.

“It is vital to supporting poorer countries to build low-carbon economies and adapt to escalating climate risks. It is also crucial for achieving a fair and effective global climate agreement.

“It is good to see that Australia has finally recognised the importance of this Fund and our responsibility to contribute.”

“In terms of targeting the funds, Australia and all other contributors must prioritise the needs of countries and communities most vulnerable to climate impacts.”

Ms Dent said Australia’s contribution was significant though still fell short of a fair share, which would have amounted to around $400 million over 3 years.

“Australia must now focus on upping it’s 2020 emissions reduction targets, preparing a strong commitment for post-2020 and the first phase of the new international agreement, and developing a roadmap for how it will scale-up its climate finance contributions to meet a fair share of the commitment to mobilise $100 billion a year by 2020,” Ms Dent said.

“We look forward to Australia taking many more steps towards global efforts to tackle climate change.”

For more information or to interview Kelly Dent in Lima please contact Laurelle Keough on 0425 701 801 or Laurellek@oxfam.org.au