When a Ugandan Minister meets a US Senator

Oxfam Press Officer Laura Rusu, reports back on a day spent with politicians from different sides of the world, and what they can do to help to tackle climate change.

In her meeting with US Senator John Kerry, Ugandan Minister for Environment, Ms Maria Mutagamba, wanted to be sure that he understood that climate change is a matter of life and death for people in developing countries.

So on her way to the meeting, she took one of the drawings from the Oxfam ”Children’s voices” exhibition which she had just unveiled, to show the Senator, how children expressed their thoughts about Climate Change.

The Minister wanted the Senator to be compelled, to act on behalf all poor people struggling to survive, as the impacts of climate change continue to affect more people and rob them of their livelihoods, access to natural resources and lives.

Senator Kerry, the only member of US Congress attending Bali, along with his colleagues in the US Congress, can certainly make a difference.

Just last week, the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed a bill that marks some important steps for the US in fighting climate change.

The legislation, which will now go to the full Senate for consideration, would use money generated from the sales of greenhouse gas emission permits to provide assistance to vulnerable developing countries to adapt to climate change impacts. According to our calculations, this would generate at least $1 billion a year for adaptation funding at the outset of the program, increasing over time.

Although Oxfam estimates that unavoidable climate impacts in all developing countries require at least $50bn per year, this bill is a crucial step forward, but more needs to be done. You can find out more about this Oxfam's reaction to this bill by reading our media release - Oxfam Applauds Adaptation Funding in US Legislation, Urges Concrete Action in Bali

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