India, West Bengal | © HI
11 French civil society organizations welcome the launch of the Humanitarian aid donors’ declaration on climate and environment.
The Humanitarian aid donors’ declaration on climate and environment should lead to concrete actions to support and accompany increased consideration of climate and environmental issues by humanitarian actors.
From Zambia to Guatemala; the Philippines to Vanuatu: climate change is triggering humanitarian crises and exacerbating existing ones. Over the past 50 years, an average of one disaster related to climate or hydro-meteorological hazards has occurred every day - killing 115 people and causing $202 million in losses per day, according to a recent report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Climate change increases the risk of food insecurity and water shortages, and jeopardizes development. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just announced that the next 3 years are crucial to keeping the planet inhabitable, including reaching a peak in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. Faced with the climate emergency that severely affects more than 3 billion people around the world, the humanitarian sector has decided to mobilize and adapt its practices.
Over the past two years, a growing number of humanitarian organizations have committed to taking climate and environmental issues into account in their response to humanitarian needs. 225 organizations have signed the Climate and Environment Charter for Humanitarian Organizations1, launched in May 2021 by the Red Cross movement. In December 2020, 10 French NGOs also adopted a Declaration of Commitment by Humanitarian Organizations on Climate Change2. What is the objective? On the one hand, to better integrate climate risks into humanitarian projects by focusing on improving the preparedness of populations and early action; on the other hand, to ensure that the activities carried out by NGOs cause as little harm as possible to the environment (greenhouse gas emissions, waste and pollution, significant consumption of natural resources).
These efforts need to be supported and financed by donors. On March 21, 2022, France announced the adoption by the 27 Member States of the European Union of the Donors' Declaration on Climate and the Environment3. This declaration, which was developed in consultation with NGOs, is an important first step and must now be translated into concrete actions around three areas:
Through this donor initiative, France, which holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU from January to June 2022, is positioning the EU as the driving force behind this mobilization. It is now time to turn this into a success and to encourage other governments to join the movement. It is time to prove to the IPCC that the humanitarian world (international NGOs, local associations, donors, UN agencies, etc.) does not limit itself to reading scientific reports on climate, but is determined to adapt its practices and act accordingly.
3 The statement is available here: https://humanitarian.forum.europa.eu/outcomes-and-reports-2022_en