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Climate change worsening economic situation of tens of thousands

Merewai Durutalo

World Vision says four out of five people it surveyed are impacted by climate change.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

As delegates meet in Dubai for the COP 28 Climate Change Conference, a humanitarian aid organisation says thousands of people believe climate change is worsening their economic situation.

Dr Olivia Yates of World Vision told Pacific Mornings that it surveyed nearly 33,000 people in countries where World Vision works.

Yates says that two thirds of those that were surveyed thought that climate change was a worsening conflict in the areas where they lived and nearly four-fifths thought that it was worsening their economic situation.

She says it’s important for Pacific neighbours that countries keep to the target of an average 1.5 degree rise in temperature.

“It’s more liveable than a 2.1 degree world. All of these increases in temperature are going to continue to drive conflict, hunger and displacement in the Pacific if we don’t act urgently now, especially the topic of displacement.”

Yates says that World Vision New Zealand at this COP28 conference is asking for a strengthened loss and damage commitment that has pledges that are new and separate from existing funding.

Yates says that the rights of children will also be part of the key discussions at the conference.

“Children don’t often have a voice in decision making in spaces like COP but it’s really important that children are placed at the centre of things like loss and damage and also the upcoming discussions on conflict.”

She says that this COP is going to be the first time that climate change and conflict is highlighted.

Papua New Guinea state lawyer Letoyer Lohia is present in Dubai to voice the concerns of Pacific youth.

Lohia says that young people are the future of the region on climate change issues.

“We will ultimately, as young people will be the ones that carry on the work and address these issues at the heart of the conversation in this COP.”

The conference is ultimately a global stock-take on climate change and Yates says this is the first time that countries will be marking global progress instead of just domestic progress.

Watch the full interview with Dr Olivia Yates on Pacific Mornings:

Hero image: Thousands of people around the world say climate change is making their economic situation worse. Photo / World Vision

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