As world leaders meet this week at the 25th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 25) in Spain, Save the Children is urging the Australian Government to step up its action on climate change.
The Madrid meeting, which brings together 25,000 delegates from across the globe, comes as extended drought conditions and devastating spring bushfires impact large swathes of New South Wales and Queensland during what is expected to be the hottest year on record.
Save the Children Humanitarian Director Archie Law said it was essential the Australian government engaged constructively in Madrid, including by increasing its own climate change targets.
“Committing to ambitious, measurable targets and mechanisms such as the Green Climate Fund is the only way our planet will be left in a healthy state for future generations. The time for politics is over, the time for action is now,” Mr Law said.
“In September, we saw a record number of young people in Australia and around the world take to the streets to protest over climate change. Children are demanding action on climate change, and we must listen to them – it’s their future after all.”
Recent polling showed the environment as among the top two concerns for Australians for the first time – surpassing concerns about crime and the economy.
“The impact of climate change is already being felt across Australia and our region. We’re already working with Pacific nations to prepare communities for cyclone season. Our children will bear the consequences of any decisions we make, so simply maintaining the status quo is not good enough,” Mr Law said.
Last week the European Union declared a ‘climate emergency’ while the World Meteorological Organisation revealed carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere reached record levels in 2018.
In November, Save the Children Australia was also announced as the first non-environmental NGO to be accredited by the Green Climate Fund (GCF). This allows the agency to partner with countries hardest hit by climate change and apply for up to USD$50 million per project from the USD$10 billion fund. To date, the Green Climate Fund has invested USD$5.5 billion in 123 projects around the world, enhancing the resilience of some 325 million people.
Globally Save the Children is a leader in protecting children in emergencies and disasters, working with communities to set up evacuation routes, pre-position emergency supplies, fight against the effects of drought, and access clean water.
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