COP26: Time for climate finance commitments that meet the scale of the humanitarian crisis we face

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS – The COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow must bring clarity on how developed countries will deliver on their climate finance obligations up to and beyond 2025, so marginalized communities have the means to cope with the escalating humanitarian crisis caused by climate change.

The climate finance Delivery Plan presented by developed countries, led by Canada and Germany on Monday, projects that climate finance will amount to a little more than $500bn for the years 2021-2025, which will not make up the total shortfall in money owed to developing countries. Additionally, it has no timeline on achieving the commitment to balance climate finance for adaptation and mitigation.

Post-2025 finance goal negotiations are also scheduled to begin at COP26, and must discuss the need for additional loss and damage finance for countries hit the hardest by extreme weather and slow onset climate impacts.

While CARE acknowledges Canada’s leadership on the Climate Finance Delivery Plan and Canada’s June 2021 commitment of $5.3 billion for international climate action, at COP26, all parties must go further,” says CARE Canada President and CEO Barbara Grantham. Feminist climate action must be prioritized at COP26. There are no specific gender negotiations foreseen, yet all parties must accelerate implementation of the Gender Action Plan, with direct funding support to civil society leaders, especially women’s rights organizations and women-led organizations, including at national decision-making tables." 

Compounded by COVID-19 and vaccine inequity, the severity of climate impacts has taken an unprecedented toll on poorer countries in 2021, driving humanitarian crises and exposing how the climate crisis acts as a threat multiplier, with far-reaching effects relating to conflict, gender inequality, health, displacement and food security.

“Marginalized women and girls are most disadvantaged by the climate crisis, bearing the brunt of worsening droughts, floods, fires and storms. We must invest women and girls’ leadership and solutions at the center of gender-just climate future to seize their rights to sustainable livelihoods, health and safety.  Because the world is better when she leads, too,” adds Grantham.

“We have already invested years in adaptation and strengthening Malagasy community resilience, but our capacity is very limited,” says Evah Haririsoa, of SAF/FJKM, a Malagasy NGO and a local partner of CARE International in Madagascar. “We cannot do it on our own. The Malagasy community in the south of the country faces a terrible drought and the situation has taken a bad turn since 2018. Food insecurity, what we commonly call ‘kere’, persists in this part of the country. In the north, where the majority of people are farmers, huge numbers of people have lost their livelihoods because of floods and cyclones. Madagascar needs investment and capacity strengthening from international society so that in the future, we will be strong enough to act independently and carry our country to climate resilience.”

Instead of being based on loans, all climate finance to support countries on the frontline of the climate emergency should be grant-based and additional to Official Development Assistance targets. This finance must also be reported fairly and transparently, which CARE research has shown is not always the case, and scale up efforts to be gender-transformative, with 50% for adaptation. Currently only around 25% of overall annual climate finance has been allocated to adaptation, according to the OECD.

“Adaptation finance has to be accessible to those who need it,” says Marlene Achoki, Global Policy Co-Lead for Climate Justice. “Instead of being viewed as vulnerable ‘victims’, women and girls are key change agents who can be further empowered to implement their own solutions. Governments must ensure that adaptation is a core element of long-term climate change strategies. Adaptation activities should be gender-transformative, and support women and men living in poverty with access to resources and decision-making processes. Currently the Global Goal on Adaptation contained in Article 7 of the Paris Agreement is far too vague, and the COP must agree to define metrics for measuring progress and steps to scale up adaptation finance.”

For more details on CARE’s policy positions see here. The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties is being hosted by the UK and will take place in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November.

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

Christina Kakaletris
media@care.ca


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