Canadian leadership needed on global climate action to protect needs and rights of people in developing countries within global climate action

MADRID, 10 December 2019 – Canadian international development, humanitarian and environmental organizations today called on the Government of Canada to lead efforts to put the needs and rights of the world's most vulnerable people at the centre of international plans to combat climate change. The call comes as Canada's new Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson arrived for the final week of United Nations climate talks being hosted in Madrid on behalf of Chile.

"This year's climate negotiations are taking place as several countries struggle to recover from devastating cyclones, flooding and wildfires, amid ongoing popular uprisings calling for socioeconomic equality, and in the wake of worldwide public mobilizations in which millions of people have spoken out for bold leadership to tackle the climate crisis," said Shaughn McArthur, Policy and Influence Lead for CARE Canada. "Yet many of those at the negotiating tables here in Madrid seem to want to dial back protections for human rights, rights of Indigenous peoples, gender equality, and the world's poorest people bearing the brunt of climate impacts today."

With talks on several key negotiating items either stalled or facing resistance, the Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development (C4D) is calling for Canada to demonstrate its commitment to global climate action that works for all people by announcing its commitment to:

1. Deliver Canada’s fair share of international climate finance by announcing that Canada will contribute at least USD $4 billion per year by 2020, of which at least 50 per cent should be directed towards adaptation initiatives aimed at addressing the needs of vulnerable people and communities.

2. Protect human rights and gender equality by resisting efforts by some countries to dilute human rights protections in existing and new international climate agreements and institutions, and championing the adoption of a comprehensive, robust and actionable UNFCCC Gender Action Plan.

3. Champion efforts to enable new and additional sources of finance for loss and damage by working constructively with all parties to ensure the availability and accessibility of dedicated resources for losses and damages caused by climate-related extreme weather events, and ensuring that these resources are not diverted from already underfunded humanitarian aid and adaptation resources.

"UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Philip Alston has made it clear that we are at risk of climate apartheid, in which the wealthy can afford to avoid the worst impacts of climate change while the poorest are left to bear the consequences," said Naomi Johnson, Senior Policy Advisor at Canadian Foodgrains Bank. "Many of those whose livelihoods and food security are most threatened by climate change are leading efforts to respond and adapt. Canada should do its fair share to support them."

The world cannot afford to leave Madrid without a deal that upholds the rights and needs of people bearing the brunt of climate-related disasters, migration, hunger and social injustice. Canada must use the political segment of COP25 to lead by example, and to demonstrate its commitment to a just and rules-based international order.

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

Camilla Schramek
Head of Climate Change Communications, CARE International
+45 50 229 288 |

About CARE Canada

Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE develops solutions alongside women and girls in developing countries to lift themselves, their families, and their communities out of poverty and out of crisis. CARE stands with women and girls around the world in economic empowerment. We bring women, girls, and their communities together to challenge inequality while facing issues like food insecurity, climate change, and emergency relief in times of crisis or disaster. CARE works in 100 countries around the world.

To learn more about CARE Canada, visit

About the Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development (C4D)

Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development (C4D) is a coalition of international development and environmental organizations working together to share knowledge and take concerted action to address climate change. C4D was formed in 2006.

To learn more about C4D, visit