April 3, 2019

STATEMENT: Australia — stand with people, not polluters

Yesterday, the Australian government announced that it is stopping its contribution to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The GCF was established in 2010 to help Global South countries respond and adapt to climate change and is the primary financial mechanism of the global UN climate treaty.

This is the latest attempt by one of the historically largest polluters to abandon its climate finance responsibility: Last December at COP24, Global North countries, emboldened  by the U.S. and the Trump administration, completely gutted the climate finance provisions within the Paris Agreement.

Please see below for Deputy Campaigns Director Sriram Madhusoodanan’s statement:

“Global North countries like Australia have an obligation to help shoulder the immense costs of climate impacts and climate solutions. Just as Global South countries cannot opt out of enduring a climate crisis they did not cause, the countries that historically contributed the most to causing it cannot opt out of their responsibility to pay for their share.

The GCF, while not perfect, is one of the only avenues that holds promise in ensuring countries like the U.S. and Australia honor this obligation. So it’s no surprise those same countries are trying to ensure GCF’s failure by withdrawing financial support, all the while subsidizing fossil fuels and advancing Big Polluters’ agenda.

People around the world are demanding climate justice — from youth climate strikes to the halls of the UNFCCC. — and the call will continue to get louder until the U.S., Australia and Big Polluter-backed governments cannot escape it. It’s high time for Global North countries to own up to their fair share and stand with people — not polluters.”

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