12 February 2021

Cristy Clark: “‘[C]limate-proofing’… aims to ensure that the risks of climate change to existing or planned developments are ‘considered and, if necessary, managed’. The problem with this approach is that it tends to reinforce ‘development-as-usual’ — ultimately promoting the resilience of existing industries and economic systems, rather than the resilience of communities (particularly marginalised communities) or the biosphere. … The government is steadfast in its commitment to increasing the resilience of [agriculture and mining] in the face of worsening climate change impacts. What is it not particularly committed to is protecting the biosphere or the global population who will rely on it into the future. As Barnaby Joyce put it so charmingly, ‘None of us in [parliament] will be here [in 30 years]’. If there is a lesson for us here… it is that we should be careful when calling for increased commitments to climate change adaptation and resilience. While we absolutely need a massive scale up in support for adaptation globally, the last thing we need is to reinforce and entrench the industries and economic systems that created this crisis in the first place. Instead, we need to make transformational changes to these socio-economic systems by prioritising equitable and locally-led climate resilient development — and foregrounding human rights in the process.”