Media Centre - Statement - 6 December 2023

A commitment to the Glasgow Statement is a commitment for children and young people’s futures – the Australian Government must now step up and end support for fossil fuel projects at home 

Girls plant tree saplings at school in Indonesia

Plan International Australia welcomes the Australian Government signing onto the Glasgow Statement at COP28 yesterday, ruling out funding of overseas fossil fuel projects. This is a positive step to a clean energy transition to help ensure a clean and healthy environment for children and young people.

Although a critical step, Plan International is calling on the Australian Government to urgently end any support for fossil fuel projects at home here in Australia in order to reduce emissions and limit warming as much as we can.

Plan International Australia CEO Susanne Legena said that it is imperative the Australian Government take action for the children of today and future generations to reduce emissions and limit global warming.

“This could not be more urgent. Plan International’s For Our Futures: Youth Voices on Climate Justice and Education, released earlier this week, revealed the immense impact climate change is having on almost all facets of young people’s, and especially young women and girls’, daily lives, both in Australia and across the Asia Pacific. Girls are missing out on their education because of the climate crisis, with schools closed due to an ever-increasing amount of climate change related disasters, from floods to fires, landslides and cyclones – such as the very worrying tropical cyclone we are seeing develop in real time over the Solomon Islands right now. These climate-fuelled disasters wreak havoc on entire communities and are impacting their mental health and their hopes of young people for their futures.”

Ms Legena also said that it is also critical that our world leaders recognise that young women and girls are experiencing devastating loss and damage due to climate change right now. Wealthy nations, such as Australia, who have contributed most to the crisis, must stand in solidarity with them and make a financial commitment to the UNFCCC Loss and Damage fund.

“An Australian Government commitment to the loss and damage fund would help communities facing the worst impacts of the climate crisis to rebuild schools and other vital infrastructure after disasters and help prevent further losses to cultural life, traditional knowledge, health and wellbeing.

“As a wealthy nation, Australia has an obligation to make sure that we do not pass on the escalating impacts of climate change to low-income countries or future generations,” she said.

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Claire Knox

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