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Canada’s international climate change investments must address urgent needs of global poor, CARE


Canada needs to shift international funding to help the world’s most vulnerable people who are facing climate change right now, according to international humanitarian organization CARE Canada.

As millions of people are confronted with erratic and extreme weather, Canada’s international climate change investments are falling below international best practice to balance funding between lessening the long-term impact and helping those dealing with a changing climate today.

Ahead of the UN-led COP23 climate change discussions in Bonn, Germany next month, CARE Canada is calling on the Canadian government to detail how it will balance its international commitments to assist those facing climate change today, particularly women and girls.

“The Government of Canada has made significant statements of its desire to help the world’s poor people meet the challenge of climate change. While investments to lessen the long-term effects are important, we can’t forget the need to help people better prepare for food shortages, migration and severe weather today,” says Pierre Kadet, CARE Canada’s senior manager of food security and resilience to climate change.

Under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, advanced economies agreed to help developing countries bear the cost of confronting climate change, including through balanced investments between long-term mitigation efforts and helping people that are facing the impact of climate change right now. The UK, Australia, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Netherlands, Switzerland and EU institutions have already reached or exceeded 50 per cent of international climate finance to adaptation, or committed to do so.

In one of his first foreign policy announcements in 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $2.65 billion over five years to help the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people deal with the effects of climate change.

“Canada is back and ready to play its part in combatting climate change, and this includes helping the poorest and most vulnerable countries in the world adapt,” Prime Minister Trudeau said in November 2015.

However, nearly two years later, the government has shown a strong preference for disbursing the funds through loans for long-term mitigation-focussed initiatives.

CARE is concerned that if current trends continue, those facing the immediate impacts of climate change – particularly women and girls – will not benefit from this funding.

“Yes, we need to cut emissions and boost greener development pathways. At the same time, too many women farmers in Africa have told me they’re afraid they won’t be able to feed their kids in the next few months if drought continues,” says Kadet. “There has been little clarity on how Canada’s international climate change investments will help people adapt to climate change, as communities on the front lines struggle to cope with its impacts today. Now that the Government of Canada has released its Feminist International Assistance Policy, we hope to see its intentions and investment plans in this area to be published and made accessible.”

CARE Canada has launched its #CanAdapt campaign to raise awareness of the need for the Government of Canada to balance its international climate change investments to support those directly facing its consequences today.

Through targeted investments in adaptation, the government can build a climate change strategy that improves gender equality and helps reduce the need for humanitarian and emergency support after a crisis. Canadians can learn more at www.care.ca/canadapt.

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To arrange an interview, contact:

Darcy Knoll
Communications Specialist | CARE Canada
darcy.knoll@care.ca | 613-228-5641