COP27: Time for high-income countries to take responsibility

EGYPT, NOVEMBER 07, 2022 - The 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) should be used by high-income countries to increase finance for adaptation, loss and damages, as demanded by vulnerable countries. This must complement greater efforts to reduce emissions and move away from the use of fossil fuels in line with the 1.5 C limit, particularly by the Group of Twenty (G20) countries. 

Decades of progress are currently being reversed in the Horn of Africa due to climate change induced drought. Floods have destroyed critical infrastructure in vulnerable countries and left more than 1000 people dead in Pakistan, whilst 36.1 million people are going hungry in the Horn of Africa as it faces its worst drought in 40 years. In Nigeria, floods have displaced 1.3 million people, over 600 people have lost their lives and over 200,000 houses have been partially or fully damaged by floods, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). 

Marlene Achoki, CARE Climate Justice Global Policy Co-lead, says, “There are still a lot of uncertainties about the scale of the loss and damage costs across so-called developing countries. However, there is no doubt that the scale is massive. This will significantly hamper the countries’ possibilities not only to pursue sustainable development goals, but also to invest in the necessary adaptation and resilience as well as mitigation measures. As 2022 more than ever before marks the era of loss and damage, COP27 must kick off an era of solidarity and living up to responsibility. This means for rich and polluting countries establishing and providing dedicated loss and damage funding alongside and in addition to greater adaptation finance to assist countries affected by climate change in dealing with its costs.” 

Abyan Ahmed, CARE Global Humanitarian Nutrition Advisor, says, “Climate change is a growing threat to our food systems. Rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and extreme weather events are already reducing agricultural yields and disrupting food supply chains. Climate change is not only impacting food availability through reduced yields, but also access to food. Women and girls remain the most affected by the impact of climate change. Women and girls also now must walk longer distances to fetch water and look for food – it is [time] to change that! If no urgent support is provided, the damages being caused by climate change in Somalia and the Horn of Africa are irreversible.”  

Abel Whande, CARE South Sudan Country Director, says, “We are seeing a regular rainfall season now becoming a major humanitarian crisis. Climate change has resulted in increased temperatures, severe water shortages and flooding across East Africa. In South Sudan, it is pushing communities already affected by conflict, displacement, and chronic hunger to the brink with floods destroying food stocks, livelihoods, and homes. 

Already one of the world’s most logistically challenging countries in which to provide aid, the recent floods have made access to communities most at need extremely difficult for humanitarian agencies such as CARE. Canoes and specialized equipment are now needed to reach these cut- off communities with life-saving aid. Flooding has also destroyed critical facilities, including health centres and supplies.”

For more details on CARE’s policy positions for COP27 see here. The 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC is being hosted by Egypt and will take place from Nov. 6–18. 

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About CARE Canada:

Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization working around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice. CARE puts women and girls at the centre of our work because we know we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities. CARE develops solutions alongside women and girls to lift themselves, their families, and communities out of poverty and out of crisis. CARE works in over 100 countries around the world.

To learn more about CARE Canada, visit www.care.ca.