Oxfam Calls On Australia To Do More To Tackle Climate Change

A report authored by the United Nations climate change body and recently released shows that the pledges made by various countries to reduce their emissions will be insufficient to avoid climate change. Kelly Dent, climate change policy advisor at Oxfam Australia said whilst the report from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change showed there was progress being made there is still much more to be done. The present round of pledges would still mean the world would warm by as much as 2.7 degrees which is a level that would be catastrophic for many countries around the world, in particular the poorest.

Australian emissions cuts not deep enough

Ms. Dent added the present commitment by Australian government to cut back on emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 was not enough to represent a fair contribution to the global emissions reduction task. The reductions would still leave Australia as one of the biggest per capita emitters in the world as well as one of the most carbon intensive economies amongst developed countries by 2030.

Less developed nations making a bigger contribution

Ms Dent says Oxfam welcomes the fact that so many nations have contributed pledges to limit or cut emissions by significant amounts, though there have been some countries that have limited reductions by significant amounts. In particular many developing countries have made relatively stronger commitments than richer countries such as Australia. One example of this is Brazil which has pledged to reduce it emissions by as much as 43 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

“Rich countries especially need to do more to pull their weight. Already, at less than one degree of warming, Australia’s Pacific neighbours are being hit hard. Rising seas are swallowing land and homes and climate change is increasing the destructive power of tropical cyclones. Shifting weather patterns are causing havoc with food production. The region now faces the compounding impact of a ‘Super’ El Nino event, including drought in parts of Papua New Guinea.”

All countries need to make a bigger commitment

If we want to keep the average temperature rising underneath 2 degrees then countries have to make much bigger cuts to their emissions. If the 1.5 degree target is to be achieved, which is something many vulnerable countries are demanding for their survival, it will require even deeper commitments. If Australia is to do its fair share it will need to cut its domestic emissions by at least 65 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and by the middle of the century reach zero emissions

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