CARE seeks a world of hope, tolerance and social justice, where poverty has been overcome and people live in dignity and security. Climate change poses the single greatest threat in history to achieving our vision.
Christina Polzot is a program manager within CARE Canada’s international programs unit. Over the last three years, Christina has overseen a number of natural resource management and climate change adaptation projects for CARE. She has a background in environmental studies and provides technical expertise to CARE Canada on issues related to climate change adaptation and environmental conservation. Christina is CARE Canada’s link to CARE International’s Centre of Expertise on Poverty, Environment and Climate Change (PECNN) and co-chairs the Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development (C4D) on behalf of CARE Canada.
What is COP17?
COP17 is the 17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The parties to the convention meet every year, and this year’s meeting is taking place in Durban, South Africa from November 28 to December 9th.
The purpose of these annual meetings is to assess progress in dealing with climate change, and adopt decisions and resolutions to address this international challenge. Key issues to watch are progress on an international agreement for a second commitment period of the Kyoto protocol, and identifying sources of new and additional finance, especially for climate change adaptation in developing countries.
How is CARE involved?
CARE participates in the COP every year, sending expert staff from CARE International’s Centre of Expertise on Poverty, Environment and Climate Change (PECCN).
CARE’s climate change work has five primary focuses: adaptation; carbon finance; advocacy; organizational change; and women’s empowerment. Special emphasis is placed on helping vulnerable populations – particularly women – adapt to the impacts of climate change, as adaptation is the overwhelming priority in the developing world.
What is CARE trying to achieve?
CARE works in countries around the world that are seeing and experiencing the devastating effects of climate change. Whether its supporting families forced to flee their homes following a major flood or an extreme weather event, or helping farmers whose dry, cracked fields no longer yield the food needed to nourish families and animals, the effects of climate change are significant and its root causes must be addressed.
CARE recognizes that international decisions regarding climate change have the potential to positively or negatively influence its vision for poverty reduction. As such, CARE’s engagement in the COP’s attempts to influence the international community’s approach to climate change, ensuring it is equitable and responds to the needs of most vulnerable populations – especially women.
At COP17, CARE is mobilizing to ensure parties reach an agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. As well, CARE is placing specific emphasis in ensuring that countries commit to providing new, predictable, sustainable and additional climate financing. These funds are essential to ensuring that vulnerable women and families in the developing world have the means to adapt their livelihoods to the impacts of climate change.
Is CARE working with any partners? If so, who and how?
CARE is working with other civil society organizations in trying to influence the outcomes of COP17. In its policy and advocacy work across the globe, CARE aims to strengthen networks and alliances that can identify, analyze and advocate pro-poor policy options related to climate change. For instance, through its Southern Voices Program , CARE is working with the Climate Action Network (CAN), the International Institute for Environment and Development and various other partners to build the capacity of Southern Networks to engage in advocacy, lobbying and public awareness-raising related to climate change. In Canada, CARE is working with the Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development (C4D) to share knowledge and capacity on climate change adaptation and to bring the voice of civil society to the climate change policy discourse in Canada.
For more information about CARE and COP17 please visit careclimatechange.org/cop17.