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IPCC impacts report: Global injustice of climate change is unfolding before our eyes, says CARE
March 31, 2014
Major new UN report shows how world’s poorest people are already bearing brunt of global climate disruption – and paints bleak future for planet’s most vulnerable without urgent and drastic climate action.

(EMBARGOED - 31 March 2014) Eradicating global poverty will become a near-impossible task unless governments take urgent action to tackle the growing injustice of climate change, aid agency CARE International says in response to a major new UN climate impacts report release today.

Sven Harmeling, CARE International’s Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator said:“The IPCC’s latest report is a study in the sheer injustice of climate change. The world’s poorest people have done the least to cause the climate problem, yet today we have stark new scientific evidence that they are already, and will increasingly, bear the brunt of its impacts.

“From more extreme and intense weather-related disasters, to reduced food security, to rising sea-levels, climate change is fast becoming a scandal of epic proportions for the world’s poorest people – and it’s unfolding right before our eyes.

“But overcoming climate poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Climate change is man-made and it can be contained by the actions of human beings. This task falls to the current generation of leaders, and to us all. There is not a moment to lose.”

The latest IPCC report, compiled by hundreds of the world’s leading climate experts on behalf of the UN, describes how climate change constitutes an additional burden for the rural and urban poor and has the potential to push people into chronic poverty, undermining and reversing development gains made over many years.

It also shows that, as global temperatures rise, there is increasing risk of passing critical ‘tipping points’ which may lead to abrupt and irreversible large-scale changes to major ecosystems on which millions of people rely.

Describing the IPCC’s latest report as “another clarion call to action,” CARE wants to see:
Governments working harder than ever to keep global warming to as close to 1.5 degrees C as possible to avert extreme climate change.

Developed countries providing far greater financial support to help poor countries address climate impacts, with actions focussing on helping the most vulnerable people and communities to build their resilience to increasing climate disruption, and greater support to help people deal with the loss and damage already occurring.
Efforts to tackle climate change address the underlying causes of poverty and inequality. The people CARE works with, including many vulnerable women and girls, are often amongst the most marginalised. Climate impacts are increasingly undermining their chances of lifting themselves from poverty.

Enhanced support for thousands of existing climate initiatives around the globe, whether safe-guarding the poor from increasing drought, promoting sustainable and renewable energies or divesting from fossil fuels.
Just a quick snapshot of CARE’s work in 84 countries reveals how people living in poverty are increasingly being affected by immediate (storms or floods) and longer-term shocks (unpredictable seasons and lack of rainfall which disrupt harvests).

Over recent months CARE has responded to a number of major emergencies including the devastating Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines - the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded history - and major flooding in Bolivia affecting some 59,000 families. CARE is also witnessing landslides in Papua New Guinea, flooding and heavy rains in Burundi, flooding in Zimbabwe and an escalating food crisis in both South Sudan and Mali.

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