DURBAN Climate talks fail poor and vulnerable people

CARE laments weak outcome of climate change conference/ “It is inexcusable that parties have shown lack of urgency and commitment”

DURBAN (December 11, 2011) – In Durban, South Africa, another UNFCCC climate change conference comes to an end with a bitterly disappointing outcome for poor people around the world, according to CARE International. “Parties did not deliver on the most critical homework they were set last year in Cancun. Instead they failed the planet and especially the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, who are already suffering from the devastating impacts of climate change and yet who are the least responsible,” says Tonya Rawe, Senior Policy Advocate for CARE USA. “It is inexcusable that parties have shown such a lack of urgency.”

In Durban, even though some progress was made on establishment of the Green Climate Fund, the question remains how this fund will be filled so it does not remain an empty vault.  “CARE does have faith that a multilateral process such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change can show progress but  only if there is political will by all parties.

“Expectations for what the Durban talks would achieve were already low, but what was achieved was even less,” Rawe continues. “In the closing hours we witnessed an undignified tumble towards the lowest common denominator, producing a text that delivers little beyond saving face. Some people see a small glimmer of hope in that a pathway toward a long-term legally binding climate agreement has been agreed, but the devil is in the detail and the road ahead is still tricky. The fact that it took this long to get such a small outcome does not bode well for the wellbeing of the planet.”

“Parties need to realize that climate change is not a heating system that you can turn off when it gets too hot. The world is already experiencing global impacts and is locked in for more to come; leaders need to act now to prevent further damage and higher costs. For the sake of poor women and men who are least responsible for climate change but most affected by more frequent cyclones, devastating droughts and erratic rains, we urge world leaders to demonstrate political will and urgency when they get back to the negotiation table next year,” Rawe continues.

Learn more about CARE's climate change message here.

Media Contact:
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