Humanitarian Community Must Address Climate Change To Prevent Disasters
IRIN: Yes, climate change is a humanitarian issue
Maarten van Aalst, director of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) coordinating lead author of A2R
“…[C]limate change is playing leveler among nations and … climate-related problems have caught the world’s attention as never before. As the workload of humanitarian responders becomes larger and more complex, it’s clearer than ever that the humanitarian system and the donors behind it must step up to deal with climate-related disasters. … Now there is real scope for expanding anticipatory action ahead of the climate-related disasters … [H]umanitarians need to be ambassadors for climate action by, above all, telling the stories of the impacts we address every day and sharing the solutions that work in the most difficult places. … [W]e also need to keep up work on the science that helps us understand changing risks in the most vulnerable places. And we need to make sure that the ambitions of the Paris agreement don’t just reach government ministers and corporate headquarters, but also reach across to the local level, especially in places that are often forgotten. … We need that increase in ambition to not just reduce emissions but also to more effectively address the rising risks in the humanitarian context by preventing the increasing hazards from becoming disasters…” (11/22).
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