Not for Profits Question 'Citizens' Assembly'
23 July 2010 at 5:23 pm
International Aid organisation, Oxfam Australia claims Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcements on climate change further cements Australia’s position as an international laggard on climate change action and condemns the world’s poorest to continuing climate crises.
Oxfam Australia's Executive Director Andrew Hewett says he fears the Prime Minister’s decision to create a ‘citizens' assembly’ and Climate Change Commission would delay meaningful and urgent action even further.
He says Oxfam acknowledges the Prime Minister’s statement that the price of inaction is too high a price for the country to pay but it’s disappointing her rhetoric is not matched by her plan of action.
He says Gillard must show leadership, but what she has presented is a cop-out and by establishing a citizens' assembly to re-visit the climate change debate.
He says there is also a deafening silence on the responsibility of Australia – as one of the world’s highest per capita polluters – to help people on the frontline of climate change, who have the least resources to cope.
Hewitt says the Government also needs to do its fair share by increasing finance pledged to help developing countries adapt to the devastating impacts of climate change and develop along low carbon pathways.
He says climate change is the central poverty issue of our time.
World Vision Australia agrees that the Gillard policy lacks a global response.
World Vision CEO Tim Costello has urged the Gillard Government to reserve places on its proposed Climate Citizens' Assembly for nationals of neighbouring countries, such as Tuvalu and Indonesia, who are already suffering from the effects of climate change.
Costello says climate change knows no borders and the decisions made in Australia on climate change will impact on the rest of the world, particularly neighbouring countries.
He says although World Vision supports community input and involvement in how to respond to climate change, it cannot lead to people sitting on their hands waiting for another year of consultations and reports before taking action.
Costello says despite some highlights, such as $1 billion over 10 years to pave the way for more renewable energy, the Gillard Government’s overall policy lacked a global response.
World Vision’s climate change election policy asks:
- Strengthen domestic ambition and take leadership on the global stage to work with the international community to ensure that a pro-poor, fair, ambitious and binding global agreement comes into operation by the end of 2012
- Contribute Australia’s fair share of fast-start financial commitments, honouring commitments made in Copenhagen in 2009
- Champion a global climate fund to commence in 2013 to allow developing countries adapt to climate change and achieve low-carbon development