Urgent shift in ambition needed to tackle climate change
As states get down to business on the second day of the UN climate conference in Doha, CARE International says they must urgently commit to a step change in global ambition and action to tackle the causes of climate change and its increasing impacts on the world’s poorest people. The world’s poor, who have done little to cause the problem, are unjustly bearing the highest costs of climate change impacts, CARE says.
The COP 18 conference, which brings together delegations from 194 countries, comes in a year of rising greenhouse gas emissions and increasing climate change impacts including record-breaking extreme weather events. These include devastating flooding in the Philippines and Bangladesh, Hurricane Sandy, which hit Haiti, Cuba and the US in October and severe droughts in Russia and Australia. Compounding this, scientists and the World Bank highlight stark new predictions of global temperature rises of between 4-6°C, well above any safe limits for our planet. Yet, political ambition falls far short of what’s needed to tackle the problem.
CARE International Secretary-General Robert Glasser said: “We are rapidly entering a new era of extreme weather and a changing global climate which is increasingly affecting poor and vulnerable people in the countries where CARE works and around the world. As a cross-cutting issue, climate change is having an impact on emergencies and disasters, poverty reduction, food security, education and economic and social justice.
“Time is not on our side. Globally, we are well off track to reduce emissions and deliver on adaptation, making it increasingly unlikely we will be able to avoid dangerous ‘tipping points’ of extreme climate change and to support people to adapt where possible.”
CARE is calling for an urgent step change on climate action in Doha and a conference of substantive commitments rather than process-only decisions. This includes:
- Rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, including a second phase of the Kyoto Protocol.
- A clear timeline, with milestones, to establish a new global climate agreement by 2015.
- Increased funding to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change including scaled up financing for the Green Climate Fund.
- Ensuring that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and girls, are at the core of efforts to tackle climate change.
- A commitment to establish a framework to address compensation and rehabilitation for the significant loss and damage which is being caused by climate change impacts.
Kit Vaughan, Head of CARE’s delegation in Doha said:
“Climate change impacts are already being felt in many parts of the world and we are now locked into more severe impacts ahead. Developed countries, largely responsible for climate change, must step up action on mitigation and adaptation. The next two weeks are critical for the future of our planet and its people – doing nothing whilst emissions rise and impacts worsen is not an option.”
For further information or to arrange an interview with CARE experts in Doha, please contact:
Jo Barrett, Climate change press and communications officer
CARE International, Poverty, Environment and Climate Change Network
In Doha: +974 55 05 6325