Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Climate change threatens vulnerable communities


Climate change threatens those who can't protect themselves warns Oxfam

In the build up to Climate Action Day and the UN conference on the Kyoto Protocol, Oxfam reveals who the victims are likely to be. It is the vulnerable communities in Africa, Asia and the Pacific that will pay for the pollution by rich nations.

A recent report by Oxfam and coalition partners warns of the devastating impact on the poorest people in Africa. It comes after strong calls from Pacific leaders for urgent action to avoid their countries being submerged.

Climate change is already having serious impacts on peoples' lives across Africa, and is set to get much worse unless urgent action is taken according to a new report from a coalition of UK development and environment agencies. The report is released in the run up to the next week's UN Conference on Climate Change in Nairobi.

The report, "Africa - Up in Smoke 2", is based on the latest available scientific research and evidence from those living on the front line of global warming. It shows that climate change is already having serious impacts on peoples' lives across Africa - and is set to get much worse unless urgent action is taken.

Africa is already warmer by 0.5C than it was 100 years ago, putting extra strain on water resources. According to the UK's Hadley Centre, temperature increases over many areas of Africa will be double the global average increase, and drought patterns stand to worsen catastrophically.

The coalition calls for rich countries to make good their promises to reduce greenhouse gases made at Kyoto and go beyond them. It also calls for an overhaul of humanitarian relief and development, for donors to fund urgent measures to help communities adapt to a new and more erratic climate, and for donors and African governments to tackle poverty and invest in agricultural development.

Speaking at the Pacific Islands Forum earlier this month, Mr. Anote Tong, President of Kiribati said that rising sea levels would create countless environmental refugees. Kiribati is an archipelago of coral atolls that rise barely two meters above sea level, and together with Tuvalu, is one of the Pacific countries most at risk. Elsewhere in the Pacific, the impacts of climate change are already being felt. On the main island, Tarawa, the population is being squeezed onto an ever narrower strip of land between the lagoon and the sea.

Oxfam New Zealand's Executive Director Barry Coates says, "Climate change is no longer a theory. It is already having an impact, especially in low lying areas of the developing world. The Pacific is already suffering from problems of fresh water salination, increased frequency and severity of cyclones and sea level rise. It has the potential to have a devastating impact on the Pacific. The victims will be those vulnerable communities who have no way to protect themselves, no resources or social security to fall back on and nowhere else to go."

Commenting on this week's publication of the Stern review on the economics of climate change, Coates adds, "The desperate sense of urgency that runs through this report must be matched by immediate government action. The international community's blinkers have to come off--not only will immediate action on climate change save money in the future, but it will also save lives in the world's poorest countries today. The New Zealand government needs to take a strong stand at next week's conference in Nairobi, not only to make New Zealand a sustainable society, but to use our influence on the international stage to avoid devastating impacts on the lives of our Pacific neighbours and millions of vulnerable people in the poorest communities of the world."

Saturday November 4 is the International Day of Action on Climate Change, with public events planned around the country. In Auckland a range of environmental and social justice groups are hosting a carnival at Aotea Square starting at 1pm. Wellington will have a full day of climate change films, workshops and activities at the Paramount Theatre starting at 11am.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Day:


Reshuffle: PM Announces Changes To Ministerial Portfolios

Prime Minister Bill English today announced the appointment of Gerry Brownlee as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nathan Guy as Minister of Civil Defence, Nikki Kaye as Minister of Education and Mark Mitchell as Minister of Defence.

The changes follow the resignations from Cabinet of Hekia Parata and Murray McCully.

In other changes Simon Bridges has been appointed Leader of the House and Nicky Wagner has been made Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration. More>>

 

Q+A Transcript: CTU Call For 'National Standards' On Wages

‘If you look at countries who do better than us, who pay wages better, who have more competitive industries, more successful economies, they have systems where there are national standards.’ More>>

ALSO:

Health Workers Respond: People's Mental Health Report Released

The People's Mental Health Review reinforces a recent YesWeCare.nz survey of 6,000 health workers, which found nine in 10 believe they don't have the staff or resources to deliver the care Kiwis need when they need it. More>>

ALSO:

More Mental Health:

Energy: Greens Launch Plan For Cheaper And Cleaner Electricity

$112 million for winter warm-up payments to help low-income households cover their power bills • setting a goal for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 (in average hydrological conditions) • an investigation into the electricity wholesale market. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Aged-Care Settlement

Until yesterday, a National government has always been the sworn enemy of women seeking justice in the workplace, in the face of gender-based pay discrimination. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news