Skip to content
Environment, Political

Oxfam reaction to PIF Leaders’ Forum Communique: Australia and New Zealand need to go further and faster to help address the climate crisis in our region

Oxfam 3 mins read

Oxfam welcomes the acknowledgement by Pacific leaders that the response to the climate crisis must involve a just and equitable transition away from fossil fuels, but highlights that leaders need to set clear timeframes for action using genuine science-based targets to meet the needs for the Asia Pacific region in response to the climate crisis. 

“The reluctance to commit to a timetable for a rapid phase out of fossil fuels means that leaders are still not serious about staying within 1.5 degrees of warming, with the lives and cultures of so many people across the Pacific threatened as a result,” said Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Lyn Morgain.   

“We can only speculate about the pressure that is being brought to bear on Pacific countries by fossil fuel producers and the Australian and New Zealand Governments to tone down demands for a rapid transition.

“While we also welcome Australia's commitments to contribute to the Green Climate Fund and the Pacific Resilience Fund, Australia is still yet to say how much it will contribute. It’s time that Australia made its commitments clear,” said Ms Morgain. 

Oxfam analysis shows that Australia’s fair contribution to the global target of mobilising US$100 billion per year for climate finance is $4 billion annually, but to date the Australian Government has only committed to $2 billion between 2020 and 2025, effectively $400,000 per year or only 10% of its share of global funding.  

Oxfam says that the funding desperately needed by communities at the front lines of the crisis could be found from re-directing the $11 billion that Australia currently spends each year on fossil fuel subsidies, which is helping to accelerate climate change. 

Australia is one of the biggest per capita emitters of climate pollution driving the climate crisis, and a wealthy country by global standards. Meanwhile, people in the Pacific are paying the highest price in climate impacts and have the least resources to cope.  

“Last week, we joined Pacific civil society in calling on leaders to commit to a just and equitable transition away from fossil fuels. Instead, we saw Pacific leaders pay mere lip service to this urgent call,” said Oxfam in the Pacific’s Executive Director Eunice Wotene. 

“The science is clear, the only viable way forward is an unwavering commitment to giving up fossil fuels entirely, a move that will safeguard our land, our ocean and our resources – as our ancestors have done for generations before us. And so, it’s disheartening to witness the reluctance of some Forum leaders in embracing this imperative and to witness the pleas of Pacific Islanders undermined by the interests of powerful nations with outsized contributions to the climate crisis. Pacific Islanders do not want symbolic gestures or aspirational language – we need concrete commitments and courageous leadership. Anything less is an affront to Pacific communities and a betrayal of our urgent call for climate action,” Ms Wotene said.  

Australia can rapidly transition to a decarbonised economy, and at the same time contribute its fair share to help those countries who are hardest hit and least responsible for the climate crisis. Australia can start by redirecting its $11 billion per year of fossil fuel subsidies towards public climate finance.  

In Aotearoa New Zealand, the leaders of the incoming government have suggested reopening offshore exploration for new oil and fossil gas. This would be inconsistent with the commitments that all Pacific Governments have made at the Pacific Island Forum to a just and equitable transition away from fossil fuels. 

“Across the Pacific our people deserve and need a fast and just transition, where a managed decline of fossil fuel production is matched with the creation of good jobs in renewable energy, clean industries and social services. It would be absurd to go looking for new fossil fuels in a climate crisis, when we know that just the oil and gas in currently active fields would take us past 1.5 degrees,” said Oxfam Aotearoa Climate Justice Lead Nick Henry. 

“Pacific civil society have called on the New Zealand and Australian Governments to stand with the Pacific, not with the fossil fuel industry. We want our political leaders to stand united with the rest of the Pacific and take a bold, clear call for a global end to fossil fuel production all the way to COP28 in Dubai,” said Henry. 

It is also crucial that we ensure that funding flows through mechanisms that are directly accessible and reach communities on the front line of the crisis. Neither the Green Climate Fund or the Pacific Climate Infrastructure Financing Partnership that Australia has announced it will fund will deliver directly to Pacific local communities.  

Australia and New Zealand will be under pressure to increase funding as international climate negotiations head towards new climate finance commitments for beyond 2025 at COP29 next year. 

For interviews, contact Lucy Brown on 0478 190 099/


More from this category

  • Environment, Political
  • 05/12/2023
  • 16:30
Monash University

MEDIA CALL – Launch of Climateworks Centre’s latest report

MEDIA CALL8am, WEDNESDAY, 6 DECEMBER WHAT Launch of Climateworks Centre’s latest reportClimate-ready homes: Building the case for a renovation wave in Australia. Coinciding with the Urbanization and Built Environment Day at COP28. Climate-ready homes charts a path for upgrading all low-performing homes, and calls for urgent action from governments and the private sector to start an energy performance renovation wave in Australia. Please note: the report is strictly embargoed to 6am AEDT, 6 December WHO Climateworks Centre CEO Anna Skarbek Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy Senator Jenny McAllister WHEN 8am, Wednesday, 6 December WHERE Dame Dorothy Tangney AlcoveParliament…

  • Energy, Environment
  • 05/12/2023
  • 16:02
Friends of the Earth


Rejecting recycling, Santos says it will ‘dispose’ of thousands of tonnes of perfectly good steel. The WA State Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Energy,…

  • Contains:
  • Education Training, Environment
  • 05/12/2023
  • 15:41
ITECA Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia

Sydney To Host Next Year’s Australian Clean Economy Skills Symposium

Sydney has been selected as the host city for the 2024 Australian Clean Economy Skills Symposium, a groundbreaking event organised by the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent skills training, higher education, and international education providers. “As the nation moves towards a clean economy, independent skills training and higher education providers will play a pivotal role in equipping the workforce with the necessary skills. The symposium’s primary focus is to identify how the skill requirements of businesses will evolve and how this transformation will generate demand for courses within the tertiary education sector,” said Troy…

  • Contains:

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time your distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.