This is Climate In Action

Australia is feeling the effects of climate change. But it’s poor people around the world who are bearing the brunt.

Consider this:

  • Without stronger action, climate change could leave another 50 million more people facing hunger in 2050.
  • More than a billion people worldwide live in low-lying coastal regions and are vulnerable to rising sea levels.
  • Nearly half the population of Tuvalu was severely affected by the storm surge from Cyclone Pam. Despite being more than a thousand kilometres from the storm’s centre, houses and crops were washed away.

Cyclone Pam, one of the strongest cyclones ever recorded in the South Pacific, hit Vanuatu with winds of more than 250km/h. In the capital, Port Vila, the majority of people’s houses were badly damaged. The scale of the disaster was unprecedented. Access to housing, clean water, sanitation and food were major issues in the months that followed.

Photo: Vlad Sokhin/Panos/OxfamAUS

Wolda Edward cleans up Eton village in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam. Photo: Vlad Sokhin/Panos/OxfamAUS

And it’s not just more intense cyclones and other extreme events: the world is experiencing more unpredictable weather patterns. These changing seasons and shifts in rainfall are affecting the crops of many of the world’s poorest farmers.

Smaller harvests mean farmers can’t feed their families or make a living. Even in Australia, climate change has affected the large-scale production of crops like wheat.

The Land is Life series captures the effects of severe weather effects and rising sea levels on the land and the impacts they have for the surrounding communities.