In light of a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stating that developing countries will be disproportionately affected, Oxfam New Zealand has called on the government to boost its development assistance to fight climate change, especially in the Pacific.
“We are deeply concerned by the startling findings that climate change will negatively impact food security, public health, fisheries and other marine resources,” said Barry Coates, Oxfam’s Executive Director. “The report underscores the crucial need for New Zealand to assist countries to adapt to and mitigate against climate change.We cannot afford to be complacent, nor can we limit our climate change actions to what we can do at home.”
According to information on small islands released by the IPCC, sea level rises are expected to “exacerbate inundation, storm surge, erosion, and other coastal hazards, thus threatening vital infrastructure, settlements, and facilities that support the livelihood of island communities.”
“A broad range of adaptation measures are required, from water resources to agricultural, forest and marine management to the development of renewable energy,” said Coates.“To meet these demands, New Zealand should commit new and additional funding to climate change adaptation measures in developing countries.”
Oxfam has called for New Zealand to increase its foreign aid assistance following the release of figures showing that New Zealand is still languishing near the bottom of OECD nations.In the past year, the New Zealand government has maintained its level of aid as a proportion of Gross National Income at 0.27 percent. The OECD target for aid levels is 0.7 percent of GNI by 2015.
Last month, Oxfam New Zealand issued its first in-depth statement on climate change in a submission made in response to five governmental policy proposals. Oxfam New Zealand is a member of the Climate Defence Network, a coalition of New Zealand NGO’s concerned about climate change.