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Statement of Commitment on Climate by Humanitarian Organisations

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Climate change and the resulting environmental effects are having a profound impact on the world’s people, affecting in particular the most vulnerable and poorest. Without drastic changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, limit rises in global temperatures and restore biodiversity, climate change emergencies will likely have a major impact on future humanitarian needs. The actions of humanitarian organisations, as vital as they may be, can add to this crisis as the agencies themselves generate environmental and climate impacts.

It is therefore essential that agencies adapt their ways of working to ensure coherence of action, exemplarity and respect the principle of ‘do no harm’. Agencies must also adapt to respond to these crises, support resilience building in vulnerable populations and work to preserve and conserve the environment. The solidarity organisations, made up of ACTED, The Alliance for International Medical Action, CARE France, Electriciens Sans Frontieres, Groupe URD, Medecins du Monde, Premiere Urgence Internationale, Secours Islamique France and Solidarites International, have committed to make such changes. 

In line with the commitments made by countries at the Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 (also known as the Paris Agreement), reflecting on the anticipated focus of the COP 26 (taking place in 2021) and conscious of each agency’s humanitarian responsibilities, the solidarity organisations have committed to:

  1. Measure the environmental and carbon impacts of agencies.
  2. Reduce the carbon footprint of agencies, aiming to halve emissions by 2030.
  3. Incorporate climatic and environmental risk analysis in all areas of work and promote prevention, mitigation and adaption actions where relevant.
  4. Make a positive impact on the environment by reducing the negative impacts of humanitarian and development actions.
  5. Develop and identify local expertise in connection with the Grand Bargain’s commitments on localisation.
  6. Make information on progress towards these commitments public on an annual basis.
  7. Raise awareness across all agency collaborators.
  8. Contribute to the project to develop an environmental and climate charter for the entire sector (currently being launched by the ICRC and the Red Cross).

More information can be found at https://alima.ngo/en/blog/2020/12/15/statement-of-commitment-on-climate-by-humanitarian-organisations/ 

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Statement of Commitment on Climate by Humanitarian Organisations. Field Exchange 65, May 2021. p5. www.ennonline.net/fex/65/climatechangecommitment

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