The Climate Council and aid organisation Plan International Australia have called on the Federal Government to meet its climate change aid and relief commitments, as extreme weather events continue to intensify around the world.
Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said extreme weather events, including Hurricane Irma and Harvey and extreme flooding events in Asia, continue to place millions of children and families at risk.
“Hurricane Irma is one of the most powerful extreme weather events we’ve ever seen. Never before have we had three hurricanes simultaneously make landfall, causing mass devastation and tragically, the deaths of dozens of people,” Ms McKenzie said.
Record-breaking extreme weather events, including supercharged storms, heavy rainfall, flooding, severe heatwaves and bushfires are all occurring as a result of intensifying climate change, with some of the world’s poorest nations bearing the brunt.
“Climate change knows no boundaries – Australia is not exempt from deadly and devastating extreme weather events such as Hurricane Irma. Everyone wants their family to be safe and there is plenty the Federal Government can do to act, right now.
“The Federal Government if failing the world’s poorest children as they grapple with the devastating impact of climate change. Australia has the opportunity to protect children and families not only at home, but also abroad.
“The solution is clear – we must slash our pollution levels now and continue the transition to renewable energy and storage technology and support the world’s most vulnerable children and their families to adapt.”
Plan International’s Senior Climate Resilience Advisor, Pia Treichel, said that Australia’s contributions to international climate finance are falling well short of its fair share.
“Nepal, Bangladesh and India have been inundated with the worst torrential rain and flooding in more than 40 years. The world’s poorest children are the most affected. Millions have fled their homes and their schools and are unable to access food and clean drinking water,” Ms Treichel said.
“Demand for humanitarian responses to disasters will only rise, yet Australia’s contribution to international climate finance is not adequate.”
“Australia is meeting less than 10 per cent of our fair share of what global leaders have committed to contribute in order to tackle climate change.
“The costs of humanitarian responses will only continue to rise and more and more countries will call on Australia for assistance. More work to lower global emissions and greater financing for adaptation is in everyone’s best interests.”
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For more information please contact Climate Council Media Advisor Alexia Boland on 0430 511 068 or Plan International Media Officer Saul Zavarce on 0404 112 934.