DURBAN Climate Change Conference 4 days left

Midway through the second week of climate negotiations, CARE laments lack of progress

DURBAN (December 6, 2011) – As ministers arrive for the official stage of the climate change conference in Durban, South Africa, CARE expresses deep concern over that fact that the past eight negotiation days have been overshadowed by a clear lack of urgency and ambition. “CARE hoped that by week two of the climate change negotiations, Parties would have made more progress toward a second commitment period of the Kyoto protocol and demonstrated more ambition in emissions reductions. But what we are seeing is a lack of political will by some major emitters to reach an outcome in Durban that is fair and ambitious and that saves the lives and livelihoods of millions of poor and vulnerable people who are affected by climate change today,” says Tonya Rawe, CARE’s Senior Policy Advocate during CARE’s press briefing in Durban today. “Some parties are already talking about delaying decisions on a legally binding agreement until 2020. This is a disaster as it can create an entire decade of zero progress.”

Midway through the second week of negotiations, Parties have made progress on some issues and even concluded discussions that show a few positive signs on adaptation.  However, adaptation in itself is no solution to climate change. Without bold decisions on emissions reductions, the need for adaptation will only grow as climate change will be on a runaway track. “This means more lives will be lost and more livelihoods destroyed,” says Rawe. “The longer we wait to mitigate, the more adaptation will be required.”

“Ultimately, Parties must deliver on the entire suite of issues. A climate change agreement is not a menu to pick and choose from.  In Durban, Parties must agree on a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol and a path toward a legally binding agreement.  Yet, adaptation is an urgent issue and must not be held hostage to their lack of political will in other areas.  A conclusion on adaptation is not something to be used in horsetrading,” says Rawe.  “Parties were set a task in the Cancun Agreements to operationalize the Adaptation Framework.  They must not shirk that duty.”

Also mandated in the Cancun Agreements was the task of producing guidelines on reporting for the safeguards in REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). These safeguards ensure that forests are well governed, that social and economic rights of indigenous peoples and local communities are met, and that the environment and biodiversity are protected. “The emerging arrangements to ensure transparency on how safeguards are implemented are flimsy, leaving many loopholes”, says Raja Jarrah, CARE’s advisor on REDD+. “Unless there is a stronger requirement for governments to report how they involve people more fully in policy implementation, REDD+ will protect the carbon in trees at the expense of the women and men who live from and manage the forests”.

Learn more about CARE's climate change message here.

Media Contact in Durban:
(Nov. 27-Dec 10): Sandra Bulling, Communications Officer, CARE International,
mobile + 41.792.056.951 [email protected]

Tamara Plush, Communications Coordinator, Poverty, Environment and Climate Change Network
Mobile +84 918 438 690, [email protected]

About CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. Last year, CARE worked in 87 countries around the world to assist more than 82 million people improve basic health and education, fight hunger, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity, confront climate change, and recover from disasters. To learn more, visit or