Climate crisis

Lucia Francisco, a mother of six children from the village of Tica in Mozambique, had never before experienced a storm like Cyclone Idai. She said: “The storm started and lasted over two days. On the third day it started raining. But it wasn’t normal, it was torrential. ... I have lost the crops, my clothes and the house. I only saved my children.”

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The poorest half of humanity – around 3.1 billion people – are responsible for just 7% of global emissions.

Yet these communities who are living on the front lines of the climate crisis are bearing the brunt of the effects of climate change. Many people in the Global South have already lost incomes due to droughts, floods and other extreme weather, and as a result, are experiencing food insecurity and instability. 

This is a global problem. It needs a global solution. We need to:

  • Stay within a global temperature increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius

Rich and highly polluting and industrialised countries - the countries and businesses that are most responsible for creating and perpetuating global heating - have the responsibility to deliver by far the most of the required CO2 reduction.

  • Support the poorest and most vulnerable to adapt to the effects of climate change

Wealthier countries must provide enhanced resources to poor countries to assist them financially and technologically, particularly for gender-just and local community adaptation and resilience-building, clean energy implementation, sustainable land use and ecosystem protection.

Climate justice means gender justice

The burden of the impacts of climate change falls disproportionately on women and girls and will likely increase existing inequalities and vulnerabilities between men and women. Women and girls are highly dependent on local natural resources, and are more likely to be vulnerable to climate variability impacts than men, due to social and cultural conditions that influence access to resources and the division of labour, as well as the lack of participation in decision-making.

CARE’s key demands

We are calling on governments at all levels, businesses, and other institutions to urgently tackle the climate emergency. We demand that decision-makers commit to enhanced ambition and to immediate action:

  • Set new and ambitious national climate plans and development strategies no later than 2020, and implement concrete measures, which strengthen gender equality and are compatible with efforts required to build resilience for the poorest populations

In December 2020, we ranked the national climate plans of countries based on how well they have integrated gender equality. And it’s not looking good...

  • Shift to net zero emissions as soon as possible in line with the 1.5°C limit of the Paris Agreement
  • Significantly increase finance for gender-just climate resilience measures that support poor and vulnerable people in developing countries, both through donor support as well as domestic government finance
  • Increase efforts to integrate gender equality across all climate measures

I care about climate justice - graphic

What CARE is doing

CARE’s response to the climate crisis started in 2002 and is rapidly growing to reflect the scope and severity of the challenge. This is what we do:

  • We respond when people are hit by natural disasters like Cyclone Idai

Extreme weather events displaced a record 7 million people from their homes during the first six months of this year.

  • We support people and communities to prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change

Our overarching objectives are to empower poor and marginalised people, particularly women and girls, to take action on climate change at all levels and to build knowledge for global change.

  • We call for immediate action to tackle the climate emergency

Through local-to-global-to-local advocacy, we are arguing for a model of development that is socially just, ecologically sustainable, respects human rights and limits planetary warming to 1.5°C.

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