On April 27th and 28th, ministers from dozens of countries will meet virtually for the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, an annual event hosted by the government of Germany and the respective presidency of the UN climate change process, this year the UK. In light of the postponement of COP26 and the COVID-19 crisis, it is a rare opportunity for ministers from developed and developing countries to identify dual solutions to jointly tackle these crises. 

CARE is alarmed that, according to the most recent data made available by the OECD on development cooperation flows, public finance from developed countries provided to developing countries for climate adaptation measures decreased in 2018 compared to the previous year. The share of adaptation finance compared to mitigation finance fell from 47% (18 billion USD) to 41% (16 billion USD) in 2018 compared to 2017, instead of increasing towards a 50/50 balance. CARE demands that adaptation finance rapidly increase as the climate emergency escalates.  

COVID-19 recovery measures provide large potential for jointly tackling the coronavirus and climate crises. The trillions of dollars mobilized in the next months must be spent in a way that protects the most vulnerable, builds resilience, and accelerates the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energies. If governments fail to make their economic stimulus sustainable and equitable, they will drive our planet much deeper into the existential economic, social and ecological turmoil caused by the climate crisis.

Sven Harmeling, CARE’s Global Policy Lead Climate Change and Resilience

Women play a central role in the response to the climate crisis by developing creative and effective solutions to build the resilience of their communities to climate shocks and stresses. The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to push vulnerable people, particularly women and girls, already gravely impacted by the climate crisis into further uncertainty and poverty. Building resilience before crises hit saves more lives and reduces the need for costly humanitarian response. We urge ministers at the Petersberg Dialogue to embrace gender equality across all areas of climate action. We also call on developed countries to further increase finance for climate adaptation in developing countries, and not cut it.

Vitumbiko Chinoko, CARE Southern Africa’s Advocacy and Partnerships Coordinator