Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison is yet to make any new commitment to climate finance to help poorer nations adapt to the irreversible impacts of climate change.
Save the Children Australia has strongly urged the Prime Minister to urgently pledge additional funding to help developing nations increase their resilience to impacts of climate change and pursue low emissions economic development.
Principal Climate Change Adviser, Paul Mitchell, said that the Prime Minister’s plan is disappointing and unambitious.
“Not only does the Prime Minister’s plan fail to deliver a plan to cut emissions by 2030, it fails to put Australia on a path to actually achieving net zero by 2050,” said Mr Mitchell.
“Current pledges put the planet on track for an average 2.7oC temperature rise this century, meaning children in Australia and the Pacific will face 10 times more climate disasters than the Prime Minister’s generation.”
Save the Children Australia is also concerned at the lack of a new climate finance commitment under the plan. While Australia’s climate finance commitments to date are appreciated, scaled up support, particularly for adaptation, is urgently required.
“The omission of a new climate finance commitment from the Prime Minister’s plan will be particularly disappointing for the Pacific nations on the frontline of the climate crisis.”
“The plan has low ambition at home coupled with a lacklustre allocation of finance to help vulnerable communities manage climate impacts. If Mr Morrison handed this in as a school assignment, it would be a fail.”
“The Australian Government should immediately double Australia’s current climate finance pledge and allocate at least $3 billion between now and 2025.”
“Australia should also immediately re-engage with the Green Climate Fund, as the key global climate finance mechanism, with at least a doubling of its previous commitment.”
Earlier this week, developed countries released a climate finance strategy outlining how they will reach the US$100 billion per year promised back in 2009. This pledge was not met in 2020 and won’t be met in 2021. The strategy won’t see developed countries meeting the pledge until at least 2023.
“This new climate funding plan will sadly not deliver the support developing nations in our region desperately need to deal with the impacts of climate change. Climate vulnerable countries need scaled up funding right now, not in 2023.”
Developed by Canada and Germany at the request of COP26 host, the United Kingdom, the strategy attempts to break an impasse on climate finance, which is a fundamental tenet of the Paris Agreement.
As it stands, the new strategy fails to address the 2020 shortfall in global climate financing, nor seek to deliver the additional finance needed to address loss and damage in hardest-hit developing countries.
“This new strategy is lacking in ambition and simply seeks to kick the can down the road on climate finance,” said Mr Mitchell.
“Despite lowering the bar significantly, it’s not even clear if wealthy nations such as Australia will agree to this approach.”
“Under the new strategy we won’t even know if the $100 billion target has been reached, until 2025.”
Read Save the Children’s report Born into the Climate Crisis which details the impact of climate disasters on children compared to someone born in 1960s, based on climate pledges made in 2015.
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