CARE is passionate about Climate Justice, and we are committed to preventing, reducing and mitigating the impact of our own activities on the planet and its people.
We are a proud signatory of the Climate and Environment Charter for Humanitarian organizations, led by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
With 209 signatories, the Charter sends a clear signal that humanitarian organizations have a key role to play in addressing the climate crisis. We must be a part of the solution and help people adapt to a changing climate and environment, while working on our own environmental sustainability.
In our own Vision 2030, CARE committed to becoming a more environmentally just and climate responsible organization. In order to achieve this, CARE strives to prevent, reduce and mitigate its own emissions and environmental impact. In order to track our carbon footprint, the CARE Climate Justice Center (CJC) uses carbon footprint and climate-smart indicators. We ask that our offices worldwide provide us with regular data on emissions from flights, vehicle use and office energy consumption, and what measures they are taking to reduce emissions from these three sources. The CJC also provides training sessions with offices in different languages to enable staff to share accurate data. This helps us build a picture of the Confederation’s carbon footprint and allows us to determine what reduction targets need to be set and where improvements can be made.
Some measures we have already taken include introducing a climate smart flight policy, setting up an internal network of Green Teams to drive sustainable practices in CARE offices, and advancing rigorous environmental screening for our programmatic work.
Through our CARE Climate and Resilience Academy we also offer a free online course on becoming a more climate smart organization. This online training is available internally and also to external partners and other Civil Society Organizations free of charge.
Only significant and quick emissions reduction will keep the possibility open of limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, as envisaged in the Paris Agreement. However, because of the humanitarian and development work CARE does, there will always be unavoidable emissions that need offsetting, for example from vehicles and flights to insecure or hard-to-reach areas.
In order to do this ethically we have set up our own offsetting program in partnership with the Fair Climate Fund. Carbon credits from the BACHAT II clean cookstove program reflect CARE’s values and approaches and are certified at the highest standard. The program reduces emissions, but also empowers women in rural India, improves health and safety conditions for families, and contributes to the community’s long-term climate resilience.