Published | 25th November 2015

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COP21: Sealing a fair and just climate deal for the world’s poorest people

This paper outlines key issues on the agenda at the 2015 UN climate talks in Paris, France (COP21) and summarises CARE’s expectations.

The causes and consequences of climate change reflect one of the world’s greatest inequalities. Billions of people living in poverty – people who are the least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions – are bearing the brunt of climate impacts. This is an extreme global injustice.

Across the many countries where CARE works, the devastating impacts of climate change are already eroding and reversing development gains. Changes in climate exacerbate existing social and economic injustices, including gender inequality. Poor people are increasingly forced to leave their homes due to escalating climate-induced disasters, and these and gradual climatic changes are simultaneously deteriorating livelihoods and food security.

As emissions continue to rise, and the impacts of climate change escalate, CARE’s vision of a poverty-free world of hope, tolerance, and social justice, where all people lead dignified, secure lives, is increasingly threatened. International action lags far behind the actions needed to tackle climate change. The United Nations climate summit (COP21) in Paris, December 2015, is a critical crossroads. It will be a litmus test of governments’ ability to accelerate global efforts to avert the severest impacts of climate change, to promote equity, and to deliver on the promises of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

CARE DEMANDS OF GOVERNMENTS AT UN CLIMATE CONFERENCE, COP21

  1. Drastically cut emissions from fossil fuels and speed up the transition to renewable energy to keep global warming below 1.5°C.
  2. Build climate resilience and adaptive capacity of the most vulnerable and marginalised people, and address the loss and damage they are facing.
  3. Protect the food and nutrition security of the poorest, marginalised and most vulnerable people.
  4. Massively scale up financial support for poorer countries and communities, and especially for vulnerable and marginalised people.
  5. Ensure that actions to tackle climate change advance gender equality and human rights.

Also available in French

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