What will the Paris climate change agreement be remembered for? People demanded action. After sleeping for too long, leaders opened their eyes. But it's a mixed bag - powerful governments failed to put our common interest at the forefront.
Climate change is inextricably linked to economic inequality: it is a crisis that is driven by the greenhouse gas emissions of the "haves" that hits the "have-nots" the hardest.
The poorest half of the global population – around 3.5 billion people – are responsible for only around 10 per cent of total global emissions attributed to individual consumption, yet live overwhelmingly in the countries most vulnerable to climate change.
There is likely to be a climate deal in Paris. The emission pledges that more than 150 governments have put on the table this year show that global climate ambition is increasing. But much more is needed, as it’s a deal that could still lead to around 3°C of warming.
On April 25, 2015, Nepal was struck by a massive 7.6 magnitude earthquake that left nearly 9,000 people dead and destroyed or damaged more than 850,000 homes. Many of the affected people have received some support from the Government of Nepal and aid organisations, but others are still waiting for assistance. The government’s response has been beset by delays, and for the past month the country has been in the grip of a fuel crisis.
Action needed on aid, refuge, and to end the bloodshed
The arrival of tens of thousands of Syrians to Europe’s borders and the shocking deaths of women, children and men on their perilous journey has been a sharp reminder to the international community of the tragedy engulfing the people of Syria. Syrians put themselves and their families at so much risk only out of sheer desperation.
Millions of poor people in the Pacific face hunger and poverty this year and next because of droughts and erratic rains as global temperatures reach new records, and because of the onset of a powerful El Niño – the climate phenomenon that develops in the tropical Pacific and brings extreme weather to several regions of the world. The combination of record warmth one year followed by an El Niño the next is unique and the climatic implications are uncertain. If 2016 follows a similar pattern, we are entering uncharted waters.
Saturday 13 September 2015 marked six months since Tropical Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu causing widespread destruction across the eastern and south-eastern islands of the country and affecting about 188,000 people across 22 islands. An estimated 15,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, about 96% of food stocks were decimated and the water supply of 110,000 people was disrupted, destroyed or contaminated. Thanks to the generosity of donors and supporters from across the globe, Oxfam’s response to Tropical Cyclone Pam has reached close to 25,000 people in the first six months.
Why Australia and New Zealand must heed the Pacific’s calls for stronger action on climate change. A report for the 46th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting, Port Moresby, September 2015.
In 2014, after unprecedented destruction and suffering in Gaza, international donors pledged $3.5bn and a change in approach. Six months later, reconstruction and recovery have barely begun, there has been no accountability for violations of international law, and Gaza remains cut off from the West Bank.
This paper outlines an achievable course of action to address the root causes of the recurrent conflict and put international engagement with Gaza on the right course.