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Floodwaters surround St Carthage’s Cathedral Lismore in February 2022 (Facebook/Lismore Diocese)

The record 2022 northern New South Wales floods are being used to highlight the effects of climate change at the COP28 United Nations conference this weekend. Source: Daily Telegraph.

Hailing from the “wounded city”, Lismore Diocese’s Deacon Graeme Davis has added his voice to what the United Nations has described as a “critical moment for global transformative climate action”.

Mr Davis said the regional city, like many in the north of the state, has had to battle “unprecedented challenges” long after flood waters receded.

He said Lismore was still living with grief and a sense of emergency almost two years after the devastating floods.

The deacon compared Lismore’s plight – and resilience – to that of low-lying Pacific Islands.

“We’re no different from our brothers and sisters in the Pacific in that way, with our most vulnerable facing unprecedented challenges with resilience and compassion,” he said.

“And while Lismore will survive, how that looks remains to be seen, with the current situation still a far cry from the thriving city we enjoyed six years ago.”

Caritas Australia wants to shine a light on Lismore as an example of climate change’s “non-economic” impacts during COP28 at Expo City, Dubai, held from November 30 until December 12.

“Non-economic loss has been largely ignored … but it is something most people understand and value, even if they do not realise it,” Damian Spruce, associate director of advocacy at Caritas, said.

“When bushfires and floods hit communities locally, we think more of the loss of wildlife and community than we do of the market value of what has been lost.”


Caritas Australia, Lismore Deacon Graeme Davis highlighting impact of climate change with 2022 northern NSW floods (By Odessa Blain, Daily Telegraph)