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Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Page: 11983


Mr WILKIE (Denison) (13:39): As much as some people in this House might deny it, climate change is one of the most serious issues facing the world today, and if we do not act now it will soon be too late. The countries that will be hardest hit by climate change often cannot adapt without help, because of their economic, social and political disadvantages. I am talking about countries like Kiribati here in the South Pacific, where rising sea levels will devastate communities, and countries like Bangladesh, which are susceptible to extreme weather events. Of course, rich countries like Australia have a duty to help these countries, and it is climate finance in particular that would help disadvantaged countries reduce emissions and adapt to the effects of the change. Moreover, investing in climate finance improves our reputation as a global citizen and strengthens our diplomatic, security, economic and social relationships with countries in our region.

Despite all this, the government currently makes only a small contribution to climate financing activities. That is why Oaktree and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition are asking for a commitment from the government of $400 million per year for such finance. I reckon not only that this is affordable but also that it will undoubtedly yield very positive results both for the countries in our region and for us at home.