PRIME Minister Turnbull yesterday announced a $1 billion commitment by Australia to climate finance over the next five years – funding of which will be redirected from the existing Australian aid budget.
The impacts of climate change disproportionately affect developing countries, with some of our closest neighbours in the Asia-Pacific at the greatest risk from climate change.
Since the Coalition government was elected, there has been over $11 billion dollars already slashed from the Australian aid budget from highly deserving projects around the world.
Oaktree is Australia’s largest youth-led anti-poverty organisation and represents the voices of over 150,000 Australians around the country.
Chris Wallace, Oaktree’s CEO said: “Moving funds from aid to climate finance isn’t committing one extra cent to supporting developing countries vulnerable to climate change. Already the Australian Aid budget has been treated with contempt and the Prime Minister’s shallow repacking of already diminished funds shows an unwillingness or inability to break from the divisive politics of the past.”
“This repackaging of already diminished funds is a shallow trick on both the Australian people and our Pacific neighbors who are calling on Australia to play its role as big brother to our region.”
Oaktree’s Collective Future Campaign sought to highlight the intersection between climate change and extreme poverty in the Asia-Pacific through conversations with everyday Australians in major cities around the country.
There is a groundswell of support for action on climate change by Australians with over 130,000 people attending the People’s Climate Marches over the weekend – making them the largest climate marches in Australian history.
Globally, over 2,300 events were held in 175 countries with a total of 720,000 attendees.
“It’s hard to believe that the Prime Minister is even listening to the Australian people. The People’s Climate Marches were a broad sweeping coalition of individuals and organisations calling for real action on climate change. Does the PM think this can be silenced by tokenistic actions with little meaningful impact?” Chris said.
“Climate justice is a common cause to secure our future; it cannot be satisfied by hollow gestures and requires real investment.”
For more information about Oaktree and its campaigns visit www.oaktree.org.