climate change concerns and roles of humanitarian/development International NGOs Geoffrey Davis, CEO CARE UK and Charles Ehrhart, CARE Climate Change Coordinator. Presentation to the U.K. Royal Geographic Society, 2007Friday, January 28, 2011 1
CARE works to reduce poverty, reduce inequity and fight for justice. Efforts to mitigate climate change are important to us because poor communities - and especially people in marginalized social groups - will only be able to adapt if our climate doesn’t change too much and if it doesn’t happen too fast...Friday, January 28, 2011 2 Comment: So, we have a major interest - and stake - in negotiations about how to mitigate climate change (cc).
CARE is concerned about the consequences of climate changeFriday, January 28, 2011 3 Comment: For many years, people in the poor communities we serve have been telling us that the climate is changing... and they have been telling us about the consequences. These consequences are the focus of our concern. Examples include:
Climate change is causing: • More people to suffer from hunger • More people to live without adequate water • An increase in the threats to people’s health ... and robbing them of resources to prevent and/or treat ill-health • A decline in the productivity of NR-based livelihoods • A decline in the range of poor people’s livelihood opportunities • An increase in the frequency & intensity of natural resource conﬂictsFriday, January 28, 2011 4 [Slide] Comment: This lengthy, but only partial, list brings me to my ﬁrst major point...
Climate change goes to the heart of our core concerns about food security, water, public health, economic opportunities, peace, conflict and displacement… as well as biodiversity and ecosystem services.Friday, January 28, 2011 5 Comment: Many people think about cc as “environmental issue” in the sense of it being narrowly about drowned polar bears and disappearing butterﬂies. So, they wonder why humanitarian/development NGOs care. The answer is that it is not an “environmental issue” in this sense. Indeed, cc goes to the heart…
Consequences for women • Women’s economic insecurity increases more than men’s • Gender barriers create obstacle to adaptation • Climate change can lead to a sustained increase in women’s workload (e.g. due to male migration, reduced access to resources, more time spent travelling to collect water and search for fuelwood). • Girl children are the ﬁrst ones to be pulled out of school when livelihoods become stressedFriday, January 28, 2011 6 The adverse effects of cc fall disproportionately on women and other less powerful social groups. This is because vulnerability to cc largely depends on access to, and control over, ﬁnancial, physical, natural, human and social capital. This brings me to my second major point...
We are concerned about climate change because it effects different social groups differently ... and can worsen inequity between them.Friday, January 28, 2011 7
per capita CO2 emissions, by region Gross disparities = Clear responsibilitiesFriday, January 28, 2011 8 These ﬁgures of per capita CO2 emissions by region are from 2003. As such, they are dated. However, the picture they paint of gross disparities remains. The simple truth is that the crisis we face was primarily caused by energy and other consumption patterns in North America and Western Europe over the last 100+ years.
We are concerned about the justice of national and international responses to our world’s climate crisis.Friday, January 28, 2011 9
Just responsibilities • Everyone needs to take dramatic steps to mitigate climate change - not just those who have contributed most to the problem • But those countries that have grown rich through a process of polluting our planet’s atmosphere should shoulder the costs of their own adaptation and that of others who can’t afford itFriday, January 28, 2011 10
What roles can humanitarian and development NGOs play in a global response to climate change?Friday, January 28, 2011 11 Preceding slides beg the question, “What can humanitarian and development INGOs contribute to addressing the challenge of cc?” The answer is. “A lot.” We have many unique skills, experiences and relationships. Some of the most important roles for us to play - roles where we have a clear comparative advantage - include:
Innovating and demonstrating • Ways to reduce vulnerability to chronic conditions (e.g. less predictable seasons) and catastrophic events (e.g. ﬂoods) in poor communities • Ways to “climate proof” development interventions • Ways to integrate climate change considerations into strategic planning (e.g. scenario-based disaster preparedness planning) • Approaches to “intelligent disaster recovery”Friday, January 28, 2011 12 The photo at top, right is of a “ﬂoating garden” from a CARE project in Gaibandha District, Bangladesh. Much of the land in the ﬂoods during the monsoon season, making it impossible to grow crops. Floating gardens, which are built using water hyacinths, allow farmers to grow food on ﬂooded land.
Innovating and demonstrating Ways to de-carbonise development Ways to make carbon markets work for poor people, especially through “multiple-benefit” projects that reduce GHG emissions or sequester CO2 whilst at the same time: • Conserving or restoring forest ecosystems • Safeguarding or augmenting the productivity of farm fields • Reducing the risk of disasters • Diversifying incomes through the growth of non- timber forest products • Reducing the amount of time that women and children must invest in firewood collectionFriday, January 28, 2011 13
Advocating INGOs are advocating - and empowering others to advocate on their own behalf - for just, effective policies to mitigate climate change and support poor communities’ adaptation efforts. INGOs bring experiences to the table that can infuse policy debates with: •Expert knowledge about priority needs •Realism •A sense of moral urgency •Crucial feedback on what is working... and what is failing to meet the needs of especially vulnerable social groupsFriday, January 28, 2011 14 The legitimacy of INGOs to engage in public policy debates stems from a range of sources. In the case of CARE and other ﬁeld-based organizations, it largely rests on our experience working at the grass-roots for more than sixty years.
Emergency response CARE and other INGOs currently provide emergency relief to more than ____ people worldwide. As such, we are an indispensable part of the global humanitarian response network. It is likely that our emergency response activities will increase as a result of climate change. CARE, for example, responded to a record- shattering six cyclones in Madagascar this year.Friday, January 28, 2011 15 Climate change is already swelling the ranks of refugees and displaced persons. We don’t know how high their numbers will go. Some estimate 200 million by 2050 (________) whilst others suggest this could be as high as 1 billion by _____ (Christian Aid)
Text Text For more information about CARE’s work on climate change, contact CARE International’s Climate Change Te Coordinator at: email@example.com Te Text TextFriday, January 28, 2011 16