Ursula takes in the changing landscape of Huene Island. Tulele Peisa and CEO Ursula Rakova are coordinating the evacuation of Carteret Islanders from their homes as they become the worlds first "Climate Refugees". Ursula is a native of the Carteret Islands and owns land on Huene Island. Her family will be among the refugees. Photo: Cameron Feast/Oxfam

Climate change

Storms, floods, droughts and wildfires are occurring more frequently. Sea levels are rising. And closer to home we’re faced with water restrictions, greater droughts and more extreme fire days. All because of climate change.

Climate change is affecting everyone but it is affecting poor people in developing countries the most.

So what is climate change?

Since the Industrial Revolution there’s been a huge rise in man-made greenhouse pollution in the earth’s atmosphere due to the burning of coal, gas and oil for electricity, heat and transport. These gases trap the sun’s heat in the atmosphere and heat up the earth, causing the “greenhouse effect”.

To dig deeper into the causes and impacts of climate change, visit the Climate Change FAQs maintained by the Climate Scientists Australia coalition – an independent group of senior Australian scientists.

Why is Oxfam working on climate change?

Because we’re working to stamp out poverty, and the impacts of climate change if left unchecked will increase poverty. Poor people in developing countries are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, yet they have done little to contribute to it.

Rich countries like ours who have contributed most to climate change have a responsibility to take action.

What are we doing?

We believe that we need a global solution to climate change. This is why we’re campaigning for the Australian Government to:

  • Commit to a strong pollution reduction target of 40% by 2020
  • Contribute our fair share to a UN fund to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change and to reduce their emissions

We are also working with communities to support them to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to ensure they have a voice in determining what they need.

Our Climate Change Plan of Action sets out our work for the next five years.

What can you do?

Climate change is a big problem. But if we all work together we can make a difference.

It’s time to stand up and be counted – take action with us to help prevent dangerous climate change.

More on our climate change work.

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