CARE: No COP26, but Yes to National Climate Action

NOVEMBER 9, 2020 – CARE Canada today marked the date on which the annual United Nations climate conference (COP26) would have begun, by noting that the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be an excuse for stalling climate action.

“We know we need to tackle the climate crisis, and that climate won’t wait for us to manage our way out of COVID,” said CARE Canada Policy and Influence Lead, Shaughn McArthur.

“At the same time, from CARE’s humanitarian work around the world, we know how economic, social, and environmental shocks often open a window in which people can become more empowered, gaps can be identified, and policies can be optimized to support a better recovery.”

Five years ago, in Paris, countries agreed to submit new and ambitious national climate plans, and to mobilize USD$100 billion in international climate finance by 2020.

So far, only 16 out of 189 countries that signed the Paris Agreement have submitted new national climate plans (Nationally Determined Contributions-NDCs). Meanwhile, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, international climate finance stood at just US$78.9 billion in 2018.

CARE Canada emphasized that even if the UN climate conference (COP26) is delayed, Canada must submit its enhanced NDC by the end of 2020, and announce a new five-year international climate finance package that:

  1. Meets Canada’s fair share of the $100 billion international climate finance goal by committing at least $1.8 billion per year in public finance alone, or $6.76 billion in principal purpose climate finance in the five-year period between 2021/22 and 2025/26;
  2. Commits at least 50 per cent of its international climate finance towards adaptation projects aimed at addressing the needs of vulnerable people and countries;
  3. Commits 15 per cent of Canada’s international climate finance towards gender equality as a “principal” objective, and a minimum of 80 per cent as a “significant” objective; and,
  4. Ensures these resources are accessible to women’s rights organizations and movements on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

Drawing on recent analysis, CARE Canada believes that these elements represent a critical part of Canada’s efforts to help the world sustainably build forward from COVID-19.

“Just days since the United States of America formally withdrew from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, it is all the more important that Canada join those countries and regions – including EU, China, and Japan – that have linked their COVID recoveries to ambitious climate packages,” said McArthur.

“This is not just about fulfilling international commitments, but about bolstering trust and equity within the rules-based international order, of which the UNFCCC remains a rare bright spot for international cooperation.”

Considering the severe flooding in Vietnam, Yen Thi Nguyen, CARE Vietnam’s Climate Change Advisor has also weighed in:

“1.5 million people across central Vietnam are struggling with the impacts of severe floods as we were hit by five tropical cyclones in a month. We are in the face of a double crisis, COVID-19 and harsh climate impacts that get worse each year as predicted by world climate council (IPCC). CARE calls on developed countries fund additional $50 billion by 2022 to tackle climate impacts in poorer countries. This finance must give stronger attention to supporting women and girls in climate-vulnerable communities in their efforts to reduce disaster risks and adapt to the climate crisis.”

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

Meg Black
media@care.ca | 416-949-0518

Notes to editors (REMOVE IF NONE):

CARE: Five demands for climate justice to COP26
Building Forward Report: Creating a more equitable, gender-just, inclusive and sustainable world


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 www.care.ca