AUSTRALIA must show leadership at the G20 Summit by pledging support for poor nations struggling to manage climate risk, according to key development and environmental leaders from the C20.
Responding to this weekend’s $US3 billion contribution to the Green Climate Fund from United States President Barack Obama, C20 Chair and World Vision Chief Executive Tim Costello joined Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima and WWF Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman in urging the Australian Presidency to take a leadership role on delivering climate finance through the global Green Climate Fund (GCF).
In Australia for the G20, Winnie Byanyima said that climate change was already damaging communities and contributing to hunger and inequality around the world.
“Developing countries need financial assistance from rich nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for the unavoidable impacts of a changing climate and develop on a low carbon pathway.
“As the host of this important global meeting, Australia must be an enabler and show leadership by committing to do its fair share.”
Tim Costello said: “Australia has a proud track record of helping our more fragile neighbours get through hard times. Now they need our help to adapt to a changing climate.”
“Australia has the know-how and resources to help poor and vulnerable people deal with the realities of changing rainfall patterns and rising temperatures.
“As the people of Brisbane and Australia well know, extreme weather events, such as floods, cyclones and fires, often leave a damage bill in the in the billions. Most developing countries simply cannot afford these sorts of costs and are often forced to choose between feeding and educating their people, or replacing vital infrastructure damaged by extreme events.
“Australia cannot just stand by while the threat to global economic security and resilience continues to grow.”
Dermot O’Gorman urged the Australian Government to make the most of its G20 Presidency to help secure a commitment on climate finance in Brisbane.
“In the first instance we’re looking for an assurance from the Australian Government that they will demonstrate equal generosity and pledge to make a contribution,” Mr O’Gorman said.
“In the past Australia has provided around $200 million a year towards climate finance. The expectation from the international community is that Australia should be willing to better that.
“This could be a positive legacy of the G20 Brisbane Leaders’ Summit.”