The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Atlanta: Brian Feagans, CARE,, +1.404.979.9453, +1.404.457.4644
Copenhagen: Marie Sisse Brown, CARE,, +
Copenhagen: Sandra Bulling, CARE,, +

CARE's Dr. Gayle Troubled by Adaptation Text in Copenhagen

Says "talkout," not walkout, is threat to pro-poor climate change deal


Heading into
the homestretch of negotiations at the U.N. Climate Change Conference
in Copenhagen, the poverty-fighting group CARE is concerned about the
lack of adequate financial commitments to vulnerable communities most
impacted by climate change. Equally troubling is draft language - made
public this morning - that could guide how adaptation assistance is
implemented. CARE President and CEO Dr. Helene Gayle released the
following statement in response:

Forget fears of a
walkout. Poor people around the world are facing a 'talkout' in
Copenhagen. As pen hits paper, all the talk about giving the most
vulnerable a say in how they adapt to climate change has given way to a
draft agreement that renders them voiceless. Least responsible for the
problem but forced to live with its harshest effects, poor people must
be partners alongside national governments and multilateral
organizations in finding solutions to one of the greatest challenges of
our time.

This setback comes one day after
developing nations stalled negotiations and flirted with the idea of a
walkout, saying their concerns were being ignored. The talks have
resumed, but so have fears that poor people will be the ones to lose
out in the end. Specifically, CARE is urging delegates to assure that
any final agreement includes:

  • Language prioritizing the
    world's most vulnerable populations. Otherwise, adaptation resources
    are unlikely to reach the people who need it most.
  • A
    country-driven, gender-sensitive approach. Women shoulder the greatest
    burdens of climate change and are best positioned to help their
    families adapt.
  • Language guaranteeing all relevant
    stakeholders are involved. For adaptation programs to work, vulnerable
    people must participate in decision-making that impacts their community
    at all stages of adaptation, from design to implementation to
    monitoring and reporting. This will assure inclusiveness and ownership.
  • Strong
    near-term and long-term financial commitments to help poor communities
    strengthen their resilience in the face of climate change.

CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. We place special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of HIV, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters, and helps people rebuild their lives.