Bonn, Germany. Leaders must put the needs of those disproportionately affected by climate change impacts – women and girls – firmly at the heart of talks during the 23rd annual UN climate summit (COP23), urges CARE International, the and humanitarian. With the UN climate talks, presided over by the government of Fiji, set to take place from 6 to 17 November in Bonn, Germany, an estimated 25,000 participants from nearly 200 countries have a chance to ensure that the disproportionate consequences of climate change on women and girls around the world are tackled.

“The quick successions of an unusually strong hurricane season in the Caribbean, recent typhoons and floods in Asia, and droughts and forest fires in recent weeks are a stark reminder that today millions of poor people are already suffering from climate extremes and are being displaced from their homes and stripped of their livelihoods. The devastation and suffering are acute in many of the poorest countries, for example, in Malawi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Fiji, Vanuatu and many parts of Africa, and CARE is actively supporting measures to build climate resilience in these countries. Women commonly face higher risks and greater burdens from the impacts of climate change in situations of poverty, and the majority of the world’s poor are women: we are calling on the international community to give greater attention and invest more in helping the poorest and most vulnerable take actions to increase their resilience.”

Wolfgang Jamann, CEO, CARE International

“The Parties at COP23 know what is needed to end suffering while tackling the gender gap that widens from climate change impacts. They must adopt a gender-equitable loss and damage work plan that identifies sources to generate finance in the order of USD50bn per year for recovery following loss of homes, farms and land and the means to sustain their families. Governments must also decide to promote learning, catalyze support, and enable action in agriculture that supports small-scale food producers and women in particular, as climate change increasingly undermines their livelihoods and their food and nutrition security.”

Sven Harmeling, Head of the COP23 delegation, CARE International

“Governments should come out of Bonn with an ambitious gender action plan. It must boost the effective participation of women in climate-related decision-making, who are still largely underrepresented among countries’ delegation leads and technical bodies, according to new UNFCCC statistics. Such a plan should also provide tools for countries to better mainstream gender equality in their national climate policies and promote direct access to climate finance for grassroots, women-led organizations and local communities. However, we are concerned that richer countries are not willing to adequately resource such a plan.”

Fanny Petitbon, Advocacy Manager, CARE France

COP23 also marks a crucial meeting on the pathway to finalising further rules required for the implementation of the landmark Paris Agreement, and increasing actions to cut emissions, aimed for 2018. Progressive developing and developed countries must stand together and resist any backtracking from the Paris Agreement by unwilling countries.

“The actions promised by the most powerful nations to cut harmful emissions from fossil fuels still fall short of the agreed upon goal to limit global warming to 1.5C degrees above pre-industrial levels. This is a critical threshold which can still prevent many of the worst impacts on poor populations. COP23 must provide a clear way forward so that countries come back with more ambitious plans to cut emissions,” said Sven Harmeling.

CARE International will be attending COP23 with 24 international delegates from over 10 different countries, including the most vulnerable, such as Malawi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Vanuatu.

CARE COP23 Policy Paper

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