Published | 8th August 2014

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A sustainable future for all: Eradicating poverty and tackling climate chaos

CARE’s vision is of a world of hope, tolerance and social justice, where poverty has been overcome and people live in dignity and security. While 700 million people have been lifted from extreme poverty globally since 1990, achieving a poverty-free world is still a long way off.

According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “throughout the 21st Century, climate change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps.” With 1.2 billion people still living in extreme poverty worldwide, it is no exaggeration to say that climate change is fast becoming the global injustice of our time.

Not only have the world’s poorest done the least to contribute to the emissions which cause climate change, they are already being hit hard by its impacts. At the same time, and in spite of the stark warnings from science, COemissions continue to rise at an alarming rate. The dangerous ‘tipping points’, beyond which it will be extremely difficult to put things right, are not far off.

In 2015, governments have a unique opportunity to act. Over the next 18 months, they will conclude a post-2015 development framework with a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a new climate change agreement and a framework to address the risks of disasters.

At CARE, we know that if governments fail to address the causes and consequences of climate change, efforts to eradicate poverty and deliver sustainable development will fail. In this paper, we call for a single post-2015 sustainable development framework with poverty eradication at its core. We also want to see further goals that are key to delivering sustainable development remain in the draft framework, including a goal to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.

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