Mitigation is the best contribution to climate adaptation

 December 22, 2003

Friends of the Earth (FoE) Climate Justice Campaigner Stephanie Long, was surprised by the strength of the Australian governments claims of the impacts of climate change in the recently released report Climate Change: An Australian Guide to the Science and Potential Impacts.

Previous statements on climate change and climate politics has been dominated by the argument that there is too much uncertainty to instigate mandatory measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

However, FoE is disappointed that Environment Minister Dr Kemp failed to recognise the ultimate importance of mitigating further climatic change to successfully adapt to climate change.

“The basic principle of prevention is better than the cure are as appropriate to climate change as to human health.” stated Ms Long, “The federal environment Minister has once again failed to acknowledge the some of the predicted impacts of climate change will be unlive-able, that people living on minimal resources and in impoverished parts of the world will not be able to adapt to climate change.”

It is predicted by Oxford University scholar Norman Myers that there will be 70 million environmental refugees as a result of climate change by the year 2050 in the Asia-Pacific region alone, thus indicating the severity of climate change for the world’s poor.

Noticeably absent from Dr Kemp’s speech to the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Roundtable side event at COP 9, used to launch yesterday’s report, was the disproportionate allocation of funds to coal and fossil fuel technologies such as geo-sequestration over real renewable energy options.

“Climate change solutions do not lie in the creation of new adaptation technologies to ‘fix’ our fossil fuel addiction. Climate change is a result of our systematic over exploitation of fossil fuels in industrialised worlds, it is the most profound contemporary expression of our unsustainability as a ‘developed’ society.” said Ms Long.

For further comment:
Stephanie Long (Climate Justice Campaigner)

0414 136 461