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People in the Pacific are being hit first and worst by climate change, pushing them into deeper hardship. Oxfam is calling for urgent action.
Climate change is one of the greatest injustices of our time.
And we have no time to lose. Our Pacific neighbours live in some of the world’s lowest-lying countries and are particularly vulnerable, even though they have produced almost no global warming pollution. Rising sea levels, ocean acidification and extreme weather are making their water undrinkable, destroying their food crops and endangering their livelihoods. In the worst cases, homelands are becoming uninhabitable.
Around the developing world, climate change is already making it harder for people to feed their families. And pollution and temperatures are still rising. If we continue this way, we will hit a threshold – in our own lifetimes – beyond which the chance of ending hunger worldwide will be lost.
We will not stand by and watch this happen.
People all over the world are doing their bit to tackle climate change. Now governments and big businesses must step up and play their part by reducing harmful global warming pollution and helping communities adapt to changing climates. We can ensure there’s enough good food for everyone. But Pacific people need real action now to avoid the worst of climate change. We can no longer afford to hesitate.
What is Oxfam doing?
Oxfam is calling for urgent action on climate change globally and in our own backyard:
- Oxfam New Zealand is part of Climate Voter, an alliance which empowers climate concerned citizens to use their votes in the September 2014 election to demand real action on climate change.
- Climate change is a global issue and New Zealand needs to play its part in contributing to a global solution. We have a petition to the Prime Minister urgently asking for a low emissions plan, backed by specific policies to make deep cuts in New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions. As good global citizens, New Zealand could lead the world to a fair green future and help to stop climate chaos for the poorest and most vulnerable people. Add your voice.
- Oxfam takes a leadership role at UN meetings on climate change, calling for an ambitious, fair and legally binding global climate agreement that puts the needs of the world’s poorest people at its heart. We also amplify Pacific voices by providing support to Pacific island organisations and governments in climate change negotiations.
- Our Pacific neighbours desperately need financing to adapt to climate change, but so far all they have received is crumbs. Oxfam supports innovative ways to generate the funding that poor people need to lower their own emissions and cope with climate change, including an international Financial Transaction Tax, or Robin Hood Tax.
We also work to help communities to protect themselves from a changing climate and worsening disasters:
- Climate change threatens to reverse decades of progress tackling poverty. In Oxfam’s long-term development work, we help communities to have sustainable sources of food, water and income so they are better equipped to deal with the impacts of global warming.
- When disaster strikes, Oxfam and our partners move quickly to provide life-saving assistance to people in need. As extreme weather events worsen with climate change, Oxfam’s is working to build people’s resilience so they can better cope with emergencies.
- Papua New Guinea is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Oxfam is working with local groups to regenerate forests and establish terraces to reduce soil erosion. We also provide education on improving soil fertility and crop diversification, so that communities are better equipped to face changing weather conditions and diminishing harvests.
- Oxfam works with the Farm Support Association in Vanuatu to plant vetiver grass hedges, which improves the soil and helps control erosion. As a result, communities have improved food security and are more resilient to a changing climate.
All countries must use the COP 20 Summit in Lima to resolve the impasse over “climate finance,” and make success possible at the critical Paris talks in December 2015. We also have a new report, “Breaking the Standoff” that details how current pledges are out of step with the magnitude of need in developing countries.
People around the world are trapped in a “toxic triangle” of short-term financial investors, timid governments and fossil fuel companies, which threatens to push up global temperatures, putting 400 million people at risk of hunger and drought by 2060, Oxfam warns today.
The maker of Old El Paso tacos, Betty Crocker cake mixes and Haagan Daz ice-cream has today committed to industry-leading measures to cut pollution from its supply chains and press for political action to address climate change.