The Future is Equal

Budget 2023 a missed opportunity for climate justice that could have devastating results

Oxfam Aotearoa’s climate justice lead Nick Henry said:  

“Despite the undeniable urgency of the climate crisis and the imperative to take immediate and bold action, the Government’s Budget falls far short of what is required to mitigate and adapt to the escalating impacts of the climate crisis. After the year Aotearoa has had, Oxfam is shocked to see the Government still isn’t taking the climate crisis seriously. We know New Zealanders want to see our government take stronger action to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. It is crucial our government stand with our communities in Aotearoa and the Pacific. 

“This Budget includes some welcome climate change initiatives. But it’s deeply disappointing that the Government’s poor planning, and failure to act on the Climate Change Commission’s recommendations, have resulted in $800m in devastating slashes to funding available for climate action – and have taken $1.9b away from other important spending to support our communities.  

“It’s staggeringly unjust that our Pacific neighbours contribute the least to the climate crisis, and yet they are facing the worst and earliest impacts. In the Pacific, loss and damage isn’t just a future worry – it’s a current reality. People are losing their homes and livelihoods, seeing their whole way of life threatened, by rising seas and extreme weather made worse by climate change.   

“Pacific countries deserve the dignity of knowing that Aotearoa New Zealand isn’t just going to drop funding – they need to be able to plan. This Budget gives no reassurance beyond 2025, when previously announced climate finance funds run out. Pacific communities, and governments around the world need certainty that the New Zealand Government will stand with them. 

“Oxfam Aotearoa urges the government to seize this opportunity to demonstrate global leadership by adequately funding climate mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage. We call on the New Zealand Government to commit to continuing our climate finance, and to paying our fair share to support communities in our Pacific region. It is not fair for those least responsible for climate change to bear the brunt of its impacts, and it is our collective responsibility to ensure that they receive the necessary support and resources to cope and thrive. 

“Oxfam Aotearoa stands ready to work collaboratively with the government and other stakeholders to develop robust solutions, advocate for stronger climate action, and ensure that no one is left behind in our pursuit of a just and sustainable future.”