Local impacts

Climate change is happening in your backyard. Australia and the Pacific are on the frontline of climate change.

Australia, dry and vulnerable, is an early victim of climate change. It will worsen if we don’t take urgent action. Pacific islands are the first to experience sea level rise as it enters their homes, takes away their soil and ruins crops. Climate change – you’re standing in it.

View the graphic reality of climate change impacts in this image slideshow:

Australian projections are alarming. If we do nothing to stop climate change, by 2100 we will face extreme impacts on our water supplies, infrastructure and coastal settlements. It will devastate our alpine regions and wet tropics. Up to 80% of Kakadu wetlands will be lost to sea level rise. Dengue fever will threaten millions of Australians and thousands more will die from temperature-related deaths each year. Massive species extinction will occur.

Climate change already threatens Pacific nations. The highest point of Tuvalu is just 3 metres above sea level, making it very vulnerable to rising sea levels and extreme weather events. Threatened Pacific communities want to stay on their land but have no choice but to relocate, threatening their traditions and culture.

Rising sea levels in the Pacific create soil salinity problems and cause erosion, making it more difficult for people to grow their own food. Coral reefs and fisheries, a source of food for many Pacific communities, are threatened by warming oceans. Food security is already a major concern on some islands. Water scarcity also poses a looming threat, as some parts of the region become drier.

Climate change impacts are not limited to small islands. Larger islands, like Papua New Guinea, will suffer more frequent and intense tropical cyclones. Increased tropical disease and food and water scarcity will impact on health.

Read more about climate change and the impacts on the Pacific region

Read more about climate change and the global impacts

Read more about climate change and the impacts on health