Think bigger than our backyard – act on climate change

\ThinkOn July 13, Make Poverty History launched its new report 'See the Bigger Picture: Australian Action on climate change: a guide for Garnaut and the Government'. It urges the Rudd Government to establish an international coalition to accept ‘climate change refugees’ when a country becomes uninhabitable because of rising sea levels, as outlined in Labor’s 2007 National Platform.

We're all in this together

Climate change will affect everyone, but it will affect poor people in developing countries first and most dramatically.

Yet it's the rich developed world that has produced the vast majority of carbon emissions that have caused climate change. While the US has been the world's biggest producer of carbon emissions, Australia's performance has also been extremely damaging to the environment, with Australia now the world's second biggest carbon emitter per capita.

We need a global solution

The United Nations has begun the process of negotiating a new international climate change agreement to take effect in 2012. This began in Bali in December 2007 with the "Bali Road Map". It’s a long road ahead for all nations, but especially for those who will be worst affected by climate change.

Rich countries such as Australia need to take the lead in negotiating this new agreement. Australia needs to substantially cut our greenhouse gas emissions and provide resources to help people adapt to our changing climate.

Justice and equity requires that the developed nations of the world, such as Australia, accept responsibility for their actions and play a leading and constructive role in finding a just solution to climate change.

A solution that looks like this

A fair and equitable United Nations agreement needs to:

  • Acknowledge that climate change is largely the result of greenhouse gas emissions from rich developed nations, and subsequently that rich countries need to take the most dramatic action in cutting their greenhouse emissions to avoid dangerous climate change
  • Provide more and reliable funding to help developing countries adapt to climate change
  • Ensure that rich countries share low-carbon, renewable technologies with  developing countries so that we can have a sustainable world

You can sign our action alert calling on the Australia government to accept climate refugees here .

You can find our report here