World Leaders Miss Opportunity to Address Climate Emergency at UN Summit

“There can be no climate justice or gender justice without increased financial support for countries on the frontlines of the climate crisis."

NEW YORK, September 23, 2019 – Today’s United Nations Climate Action Summit was a missed opportunity for world leaders to mount a response commensurate with what scientists, cities, organizations and more than four million people worldwide are declaring a climate emergency. Decades of human and economic development are at risk and trillions of dollars of opportunity are being squandered, as politicians struggle to support the transition towards a greener and more climate-smart global economy.

"The UN Secretary General’s call for countries to come bearing ambitious and new plans was largely ignored. While we welcome a handful of strong commitments delivered at the Summit, countries absent and repackaging old commitments as new did not go unnoticed. To prevent a rise above 1.5°C, we must put pressure on the biggest causers of the climate crisis. Decision-makers can no longer pass the torch to address the climate emergency. We cannot say: Next time, at the next meeting, leaders will do better. Flashy speeches will no longer be praised and leaders who fail their people will be held accountable," said Inge Vianen, Global Leader for CARE’s Climate Change and Resilience Platform.

In addition to the announcements by national governments, various initiatives and collaborations in different thematic action tracks formed the outcomes of the Summit.

Climate Finance:

"There can be no climate justice or gender justice without increased financial support for countries on the front lines of the climate crisis. For those struggling to cope with the impacts of climate change – especially women and other marginalized communities who have done little to contribute to climate change in the first place – investments must prioritize adaptation. Unmet adaptation needs are already having devastating consequences, and are set to rise exponentially in the coming years, so this must be a critical focus of ambition-raising efforts in the coming years," said Shaughn McArthur, CARE Canada’s Policy and Influence Lead.

Towards a Resilient Future:

"CARE supports the Call to Action on Adaptation and Resilience launched at the UN Climate Action Summit, signed by more than 100 countries and almost 60 organisations. It sends a strong political signal that more ambitious action and financial support for climate resilience is required immediately. However, the Call fails to clearly put gender justice at the center of adaptation, to highlight the synergies with the sustainable development goals agenda, and to call for additional resources to address loss and damage. These need to be advanced at the UN climate conference COP25 in about two months from now," said Sven Harmeling, CARE International’s Global Policy Lead on Climate Change and Resilience.

CARE has spokespeople available. For media inquiries in Canada, please contact:

Lama Alsafi
media@care.ca | 613-228-5641

For international media inquiries, please contact:

Camilla Schramek
Head of Climate Change Communications, CARE International
cschramek@careclimatechange.org