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COP28 Failure & the Need to Prepare for Climate Impacts

The COP28 Climate Conference has just wrapped, and climate-impacted communities around the world watched in horror as a record number of fossil fuel industry lobbyists walked the halls and watered down attempts at strong commitments to tackle the climate crisis.

As Asah Rehgman writes "We are the ones who actually know this is a life-and-death fight. We are the realistic ones, and so we are the only hope for the future."

Friends of the Earth International has concluded that the COP28 outcome was undermined by dangerous distractions and lack of finance“We need billions of dollars, we’ve been given peanuts, and even more debt to boot,” warned Bareesh Chowdhury of FoE Bangladesh.


Friends of the Earth Australia has been drawing attention to the need to prepare for climate impacts since the year 2000, beginning with our call for the Australian government to commit to take in climate-displaced refugees from the Pacific.

As 2024 nears, we’re now calling on the Victorian state government to Fund Community Climate Resilience.

Evidence demands that we acknowledge the reality of climate impacts hitting us right now, which is why we are working on climate solutions to adapt to these changes.

The majority of funding is being put into disaster relief, but we can’t only be on a reactive footing to climate impacts. Communities need funding in advance of climate disasters to build resilience and lessen climate impacts when they hit.

Adapting to a changing climate demands that our communities adjust how we live to prioritise safety and justice in the face of known risks.

Calls for climate adaptation measures are also being led by Sweltering Cities in their Heatwave safe homes for renters campaign.

The Heatwave Safe Homes for Renters campaign is calling on the Victorian Housing Minister to implement simple, practical changes to our current rental rules. The goal is to win safe, cool homes and reduce the incidence of heat-related illnesses and deaths in our communities.

Victorian communities know their local area and people best. We are observing the changes in our environment and seasons. We are aware of how able people around us are to respond.

In 2023, it's clearer than ever that alongside rapidly reducing emissions, it's high time we prioritise building community resilience to intensifying climate impacts.

The recent announcement of an El Niño cycle is already playing out in what's been described as the oppressive December.

That's why we're focusing on supporting communities to build resilience by calling for a permanent Victorian Community Climate Adaptation Fund.

We can prepare for these climate impacts and keep our communities safe, or look away from the risks and find our communities constantly in reactive mode to an onslaught of impacts.


What a Victorian Community Climate Adaptation Fund can achieve

Many innovative solutions to the challenges of climate change are being posited or trialed around the world. Each situation is unique and therefore requires locally determined and relevant solutions. Examples are:

  • Upgrade of efficient heating and cooling appliances in social housing to provide safe and culturally appropriate housing for protecting people most at risk.
  • Retrofitting ‘Climate safe rooms’ - one room in a home to protect residents from extreme weather by draught proofing, insulating, and fitting an efficient reverse-cycle air conditioner and solar panels.
  • Climate-ready homes designed for and by First Nations people which include features that accommodate cultural needs, such as shaded outdoor kitchens, places to sleep outdoors to catch the breeze, and windows and doors that are designed to allow for maximum airflow in all conditions.
  • Research to explore ideas and cultural knowledge in agriculture about the role of plants to help mitigate fires. 



A permanent VCCAF would help to ensure that climate adaptation is led by and for the community and is continuously funded as the needs of communities continues to evolve.


Read more about what the VCCAF can achieve here.


Add your name to the call for a permanent Victorian Community Climate Adaptation Fund.


Remember, you're always welcome to join Act on Climate's weekly meetings. Our organising and action meetings will take place on the alternative fortnight to the Organising Training Workshops.

All weeks include dinner. Register here for an upcoming Tuesday. 

Support our work with a donation here.

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