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Climate inequality in the Commonwealth: a call for urgent action

This report ranks the climate pledges of the 53 Commonwealth countries and shows that its richer members, including Australia, Canada and the UK, are failing to do their fair share to prevent climate change, while poorer nations are working much harder. Our analysis exposes the climate inequality at the heart of the Commonwealth.  

Virtuous Circle: scaling up investment in low carbon energy

This report demonstrates that the time for rapid deployment of renewable energy technologies is now. It shows that governments, policy makers and investors should realise that clean energy and clean energy investments are reliable, cost effective and scalable, and a solution for delivering clean and sustainable energy for all.

New pathways out of poverty in Africa: sustainable agriculture

A Christian Aid and CAFOD policy paper investigating how agricultural transformation has become a development priority for African governments and the international development community. It is commonly understood as a shift from ‘low’ productivity subsistence agriculture to more commercially-oriented production. This shift is seen as the first step away from the continent’s continued dependence on raw commodity exports, and towards diversified and domestically integrated economies that provide sufficient employment opportunities to the world’s youngest and fastest-growing population.   This is to be welcomed. However, this report highlights the risk that agricultural transformation strategies already underway in some African countries could increase inequality and further degrade the environment. To prevent this from happening agriculture transformation strategies need to: integrate actions that will build the resilience of producer households and wider ecosystems to climate and economic shocks, instead of focusing predominantly on increasing the productivity of smallholders link smallholder producers to the wider domestic economy.  CAFOD and Christian Aid programmes that support small agro-enterprise development, climate resilience building and inclusive agricultural market development include deliberate actions to ensure equitable and environmentally sustainable outcomes. To further promote the integration of these principles in the design and implementation of government policies, we have initiated an on-going dialogue with our partner organisations in Africa to determine how agricultural transformation policies in their own countries can contribute to more equitable and sustainable development.

Maximising the benefits of the global phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons

This paper, published for the 30th Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, discusses what is at stake in the implementation of the HFCs phase-down and related activities. It describes a suite of measures that, if taken together, will maximise the benefits of the phase-down of HFC refrigerants with high global warming potential, both in terms of the greenhouse gas emissions, and additional, sustainable development co-benefits. Summary The proliferation of household air conditioners and refrigerators across the world, including the rapid growth expected in developing countries, gives us an opportunity, right now, to ensure that the appliances we choose have minimum impact on the global climate and maximise sustainable development.  Last year’s hard-won Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol ensured a commitment to remove HFC refrigerants with high global warming potential, through a global phase-down. Maximising the climate change and related benefits of this phase-down will depend on three elements coming together:  countries choosing refrigerants with the lowest global warming potentials  ensuring promotion of the most energy efficient cooling technologies  a rapid move to renewable energy to power these appliances. The right combination of these three elements will ensure that greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetime of each appliance are minimised.   Minimising greenhouse gas emissions Achieving each of these elements will require a range of actions, including addressing financing and cost issues, supporting capacity building and training, developing energy infrastructure plans and updating safety and energy efficiency standards. These diverse actions will need to be coordinated strategically, often across a number of distinct but critical venues, including the Montreal Protocol, the UNFCCC, various regional groups and domestic policy-making.  As we implement both the Montreal Protocol Kigali Amendment and the Paris Agreement, making the right coordinated and complementary decisions across these issues and venues will be essential to deliver a safe world with below 1.5C of global warming.

Gender Analysis of Village Savings and Loans (ECRP)

Womens’ empowerment is a slow and incremental process, in which village and savings loan groups (VSL) can play a crucial role. In order to understand the impact of gender relations on VSL interventions, and vice-versa, focusing on the perceptions of men and women participating in VSL, household decision-making, and women’s access and control of VSL resources, Christian Aid commissioned a Gender and Power Analysis of VSL within ECRP. The study consists of a literature and document review, and primary qualitative research with 330 participants (191 women and 139 men) in 5 ECRP intervention districts; Kasungu, Mwanza, Mulanje, Nsanje, and Machinga. The analysis will progress by examining the influence of gender dynamics on VSL, and VSL on gender dynamics, relating to the woman herself, her household, the intervention, and the wider community.