Climate Change

Climate change is the single biggest threat in the global fight against hunger.

Extreme weather events, like Tropical Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, are a forceful reminder that the people who have done the least to contribute to climate change are already being hit hard by its devastating impacts.

Dirty polluting companies are causing climate change to worsen, poisoning our clean air, and threatening our food, water and health.

The Australian Government has been shirking responsibility and acting in the interests of the big dirty polluters.

Luckily, families and farmers around the world are fighting back and driving smart and positive climate action.

Don’t let families and farmers take the heat for our inaction. Be part of the fight for fair food in a fair climate!

What is climate change?

Since the Industrial Revolution developed countries have been releasing enormous quantities of greenhouse gas pollution. Mostly this has been through the burning of fossil fuels and clearing of forests. These gases are building up in our atmosphere, trapping the sun’s rays and heating the Earth. It’s called the “greenhouse effect”.

It’s not just the average temperature that is rising. With more heat and energy in the atmosphere and oceans, our weather is becoming more extreme and unpredictable.

To dig deeper into the causes and impacts of climate change, visit the Climate Council.

Why is Oxfam working on climate change?

Tackling climate change is central to ending poverty. And while developing countries have contributed the least to climate change, they are the most vulnerable to its impacts.

The flipside is that rich countries like Australia have contributed the most to climate change. And we have generated enormous wealth through the burning of fossil fuels that is causing this change. It’s because of this that we have a responsibility to take strong action on climate change.

Australia needs to do more to reduce its carbon emissions and assist poorer countries, both with adapting to climate change and building the clean economies of the future.

What are we doing about climate change?

We need to find a fair global solution to climate change.

This is why we’re campaigning for the Australian Government to urgently increase its contribution to international climate action, in line with keeping the global temperature rise to within 1.5˚C, beyond which many countries have said they will face unmanageable suffering and devastation. Australia’s contribution should include:

  • A commitment to reduce Australia’s domestic emissions by at least 45% below 2000 levels by 2025 and at least 65% by 2030;
  • A commitment to achieve zero emissions well before mid century, including developing a concrete plan to phase-out coal from Australia’s energy supply;
  • Substantial support towards climate change adaptation and low-carbon development in poorer countries, beginning with a strategy for scaling up current contributions to reach a fair share of the international goal to provide $100bn a year by 2020

We also partner with communities, supporting their calls for stronger action, and their determined efforts to deal with the impacts of climate change.

Our  Climate Change Plan of Action sets out our work.

What you can do about climate change?

Climate change is a big problem. There are solutions. But it is going to take all of us working together.