Rapid action needed to limit global warming but allegedly climate aid money is not reaching the most vulnerable in the Pacific.

DEAR EDITOR, on a day when an international report says rapid, far reaching and unprecedented changes are needed in all aspects of society to limit global warming, we are told that climate aid money is not reaching the most vulnerable in the Pacific.

Quoting from today’s Radio New Zealand’s news bulletin, 8 October 2018.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said limiting warming to 1.5 degrees compared to 2 degrees is necessary to ensure a more sustainable and equitable society.

“The report provides key scientific evidence ahead of the December climate change conference in Poland, when governments review the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change.

“It said every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5 degrees or higher increases the risks of long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems.

“The lower limit would reduce sea level rise by 10 centimetres by the end of the century, the Arctic Ocean would be free of sea ice in summer just once a century instead of once a decade, and coral reefs would decline by around 70 percent rather than be completely lost.

“It says “rapid and far-reaching” transitions are required and CO2 emissions will need to fall by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030.

“The report is clear that avoiding a warmer future above 1.5 degrees will bring significant benefits for millions of people who will face significantly reduced risks of flooding, food insecurity and climate stress, including Pacific communities,” said Associate Professor Bronwyn Hayward from Canterbury University, one of the report’s authors.

“The world is already seeing the consequences of 1 degrees of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, the report said.

“The IPCC noted good news in that some of the kinds of actions needed to limit global warming to 1.5ºC were already underway, but they did need to accelerate, with current decisions vital to ensuring a safe and sustainable world.”

Copyright @ 2018, Radio New Zealand.

Meanwhile, also quoting from Radio New Zealand, we learn that around the world money is being poured into helping vulnerable countries fight climate change.

But Caritas New Zealand director Julianne Hickey said finance was not getting beyond large institutions and government structures.

“We’ve heard time and time again from the Solomon Islands through to Tonga, to Papua New Guinea, that it is not reaching those who need it most and those who’ve done the least to cause the issues of climate change.”

Caritas Australia Pacific manager Stephanie Lalor said preparedness was where money was best spent.

“We know for every one dollar invested in mitigation, preparation activities at community level, we save ten dollars in the cost of actually then responding to the impact of a disaster.”

Sad to think, as many in the Pacific countries are saying, the people have become the victims of a problem others had caused.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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