Climate change is a humanitarian emergency. Today, one weather- or climate-related disaster occurs every 1-2 days, with an estimated 108 million people needing life-saving assistance in 2018. This number could double by 2050 1. The people who suffer the most are – and will continue to be – the world’s poorest: those who do not have the resources to protect themselves from disasters and who, more often than not, live in areas where climate impacts like floods, droughts and storms hit hardest.
Today, humanity faces a choice. We can continue to respond and struggle to meet demand as needs grow. Or we can choose to invest to prevent such a future scenario from occurring.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has made its choice and is mobilizing to meet the urgency and scale of the crisis. Through our network of 192 National Societies, 165,000 local branches and 14 million volunteers, we will make our work climatesmart 2 and increase our climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction efforts, working with communities on the frontlines of climate change. We will consider climate risks in all we do and anticipate extreme weather events ahead of their impact. And we will reduce our own environmental footprint, greening our operations and pursuing nature- and ecosystem-based solutions. We also call on the world’s citizens, governments and companies to do their part to reduce emissions but also to resolutely address the rising risks already facing the most vulnerable.