For immediate release.
Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA], 17 February 2022:
Canadian civil society organizations welcome the creation of the Partnering for Climate initiative, announced today by International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan.
Partnering for Climate will allow Canadian organizations to apply for funding to implement adaptation projects in partnership with organizations in the Global South. Minister Sajjan has announced an initial funding pool of CAD $315 million, to be distributed as part of Canada’s climate finance for the 2021-2025 period. The funding includes $20 million for advancing women’s rights and adaptation, and a $15 million envelope to support Indigenous Peoples and organizations in Canada in advancing climate action alongside Indigenous partners in developing countries.
Canadian climate and development organizations advocated for a new partnership approach when it comes to climate investments with communities in the Global South. This announcement reflects a clear intention for Canada to move away from its traditional overreliance on funding through multilateral organizations and development banks, which incentivize private sector involvement. This approach prioritized mitigation projects at the expense of adaptation, and has failed to make an impact in Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. Partnering for Climate offers an opportunity to correct Canada’s track record and empower organizations in the poorest and most vulnerable countries where adaptation finance is urgently needed.
Our organizations will be watching closely to ensure direct support to communities on the frontlines of the climate and biodiversity crises. We look forward to working with the Canadian government to ensure transparency and accountability in the roll-out of the fund, and will continue advocating for scaling up climate finance in accordance with global needs and Canada’s fair share.
Eddy Pérez, International Climate Diplomacy Manager, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada:
“This announcement comes as the world is reeling from climate-induced disasters, droughts, floods, and fires that have destroyed people’s homes, communities, and livelihoods. The climate crisis is a direct result of colonialism; we can’t solve it without decolonizing our approaches and contributing to helping the world’s most vulnerable people and communities to build power.
“It could not be more urgent to build solidarity and partnerships between organizations and Indigenous Peoples in Canada and in developing countries. This new funding is an important first step. Now, Canada must build on this momentum and dedicate greater resources to truly support people on the front lines of the climate and biodiversity crises.”
Marie-Christine Bélanger, Director of Consulting services & Innovation – SOCODEVI:
“SOCODEVI welcomes the Minister’s announcement. This funding will allow Canadian international cooperation organizations and their partners to co-develop and implement adaptation strategies to reduce the effects of climate change on vulnerable communities. SOCODEVI will continue to promote climate-smart agriculture and nature-based solutions to sustainably improve the living conditions of rural populations, fight against climate change, and contribute to healthy ecosystems.”
Philippe Dongier, Executive Director of CECI:
“CECI welcomes the Canadian government’s announcement to put women, girls and Indigenous peoples at the heart of its climate finance strategy. Increasing funding for climate adaptation is a step forward in enabling the most marginalized populations to face climate challenges and become stakeholders in the global effort. CECI remains committed to advancing opportunities for women and girls and continues its community mobilization work for sustainable solutions, including ecosystem protection and the fight against climate change.”
Tanjina Mirza, Chief Programs Officer, Plan International Canada:
“The Partnering for Climate Fund will enable civil society partners like Plan International Canada to share our expertise in climate adaptation, nature-based solutions, and gender equality with communities that are the most affected and least responsible. It will ensure that girls, women, and Indigenous people have a bigger say in climate action, as they should.
“This announcement comes at a crucial time for Africa — temperatures are reaching record levels, wildfires have destroyed entire forests, sea levels have risen, food insecurity is at an all-time high, and these are just some of the consequences of climate change.”
Barbara Grantham, President & CEO, CARE Canada:
“After dedicated consultations with civil society, we warmly welcome Minister Sajjan’s announcement of the new “Partnering for Climate” initiative, for Canadian NGOs to continue working together with a diversity of leading Global South partners to advance feminist climate action. We applaud the focus on grants for adaptation of women’s livelihoods.
“Vulnerable women and girls and marginalized groups are most disadvantaged by the climate crises. The funding to civil society leaders at the forefront of climate action —especially women’s rights organizations and Indigenous peoples and organizations—will allow them to drive meaningful change and seize their rights to sustainable livelihoods, health and safety.”
Michael Messenger, President and CEO World Vision Canada
“Today’s announcement of additional funds by Development Canada will help Canadian partners address the connected challenges of climate change, conflict, and COVID-19, which are affecting the most vulnerable people, including children.”
David Barth, Executive Director, World Accord:
“We welcome the fact that Canada is creating this funding stream; especially since they will be granted taking into account its own Feminist International Assistance Policy. This will thus be able to guide the efforts of local organizations, countries of the Global South, involved both in respecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples and women, and in adapting to as well as mitigating the effects of the climate crisis and other crises which we face.”
Nicole Hurtubise, CEO, WaterAid Canada:
“WaterAid Canada welcomes the Minister’s announcement today on Partnering for Climate. Strengthening civil society partnerships is critical for locally led adaptation efforts to increase community resilience. Increased priority for adaptation must include water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and further exploration of nature-based solutions and water security for gender responsive and climate resilient WASH. Canada’s announcement can advance meaningful participation and knowledge leadership of women and girls to confront water insecurity on the frontlines of climate adaptation.”
Gerardo Almaguer, President & CEO, Développement international Desjardins (DID):
“DID welcomes the Canadian government’s commitment to climate financing. Through this concrete support, Canada will promote the identification and deployment of innovative solutions that will reduce the devastating impact of climate change on vulnerable populations, and on women in particular. Our team is fully committed to the climate action required by the state of our planet. Together, we can make a difference in enhancing people’s resilience and building a greener world.”
Hilary Clauson, Policy Associate, Equality Fund:
“The Equality Fund welcomes today’s Government of Canada announcement providing more detail on its climate finance commitments. We are pleased to see funding for initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa at the intersection of women’s rights and climate adaptation. We hope to see strong support for women climate activists. They are key – yet underfunded – climate actors who take a rights-based, people-centred approach to climate adaptation and resilience.”
Benoit André, Executive Director, The Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF Canada):
“CDF Canada welcomes this announcement by the Minister and looks forward to mobilizing the cooperative and credit union sectors internationally to work towards increasing climate adaptation, reducing gender inequality, and protecting biodiversity.”
Steve Matthews, Executive Director – ADRA Canada:
“ADRA Canada is pleased with the creation of Partnering for Climate. We recognize that unless there are rapid, sustained, and large-scale reductions of carbon emissions, the goal of the Paris Agreement will be beyond reach. We believe Canada’s commitment will help vulnerable women, girls, boys, and men in the developing countries to adapt to climate variability and halt biodiversity loss. To this effect, we are proud to see Canada leading by example in leveraging resources to succeed, because we are running out of time to take meaningful action, and everything is at stake.”
Lyn Adamson, Co-Chair, ClimateFast:
“ClimateFast welcomes this announcement of funding that will strengthen community connections and leverage community networks for the greatest benefit to vulnerable communities around the world. Supporting the work of Indigenous Peoples to respond to the challenges of climate disruption is an important step towards decolonizing and empowering local communities in the most affected areas. Empowerment of women in their local communities will help to enhance climate resilience. This is still too little, and too much in the form of loans rather than grants, but it is a significant step in the right direction.”
Janet Siddall and Pat Dolan, Co-chairs, Grandmothers Advocacy Network:
“This is a great day for women on the front lines of the climate crisis, especially women leading change in nature based solutions in their communities in the global south. Thank you Minister Sajjan.”
Janis Alton, Co-Chair, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace:
“Canadian Voice of Women for Peace welcomes this climate finance commitment. We cannot build a peaceful future without investment in community climate mitigation and adaptation. It’s crucial to recognize the essential contribution of women acting on climate mitigation and adaptation and it’s essential to recognize that peacebuilding cannot happen without climate stabilization. We urge a much greater financial contribution from Canada as well as a greater percentage in grants rather than loans. We need to repair the damage our emissions have caused in parts of the world where emissions are minimal. Investing now will benefit global stability and climate justice for the future.”
Émile Boisseau-Bouvier, Analyst, Climate Policy and Ecological Transition, Équiterre:
“As the country with the largest historical climate debt per capita, Canada has a social responsibility to the most affected states and communities. The more resources dedicated to their adaptation, the closer we come to greater climate justice and equity.”
Canada’s farthest-reaching network of organizations working on climate and energy issues, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada is a coalition of more than 130 organizations operating from coast to coast to coast. Our membership brings environmental groups together with trade unions, First Nations, social justice, development, health and youth organizations, faith groups and local, grassroots initiatives.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Vicky Coo, Communications Lead
PHOTO CREDIT: Marcos Villalta / Save the Children