The climate and environment crises are humanitarian crises, threatening the future of humanity. They are already affecting people’s lives and livelihoods around the world, and their impact is growing all the time. While these crises are affecting all of us, those most affected by their consequences are the poorest and most marginalized communities, whose capacity to adapt is already strained, owing to armed conflict, displacement, weak governance, unplanned urbanization or poverty. All of these situations are exacerbated by structural inequities and by people’s individual characteristics, such as age, gender, disability or livelihood.
The Charter sends a clear signal that humanitarian organizations have a key role to play in addressing these crises. We must be a part of the solution and help people adapt to a changing climate and environment, while also increasing our own environmental sustainability. This needs to be a collective endeavour, as it is clear that no organization can tackle this alone. The commitments in the Climate and Environment Charter offer a set of principles to guide humanitarian action in response to the climate and environmental crises. To turn these commitments into reality we, the Swedish Red Cross, have developed the following targets that will evolve over time, as our knowledge and practices develop.
Commitment 1: Step up our response to growing humanitarian needs and help people adapt to the impacts of the climate and environmental crises
1.1 We will consistently strive to deliver, and support our partners to deliver, activities to address the rising climate risks and impacts from environmental degradation through targeted capacity building of staff, volunteers, and community members.
1.2 By 2025, all of our international development/community-based activities will include an environmental risk pre-screening to identify and reflect on environmental threats and steps for their mitigation.
Commitment 2: Maximize the environmental sustainability of our work and rapidly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions
2.1 We will reduce our national scope 1 and scope 2 GHG emissions by 10% per year and per employee and we will work with our partners to establish relevant tools and progressively report and improve on the GHG emissions resulting from our internationally supported activities.
2.2 We commit to compensating for the GHG emissions we cannot avoid by doing carbon offsetting in certified projects. We will also be transparent in how much CO2e we are emitting per year, and what the carbon offsetting costs.
Commitment 3: Embrace the leadership of local actors and communities
3.1 We will continue to support our local branches in greening their activities with the guidance from regional sustainability ambassadors.
Commitment 4: Increase our capacity to understand climate and environmental risks and develop evidence-based solutions
4.2 By 2025, all our staff will have increased capacity to support the integration of environmental sustainability in our activities and support programmes.
Commitment 6: Use our influence to mobilise urgent and more ambitious climate action and environmental protection
6.1 We will collaborate with governments and other humanitarian actors, nationally and internationally, to share learnings and to persuade them to take ambitious climate action, including the adoption or recognition of the charter, with the message that the climate crisis is a humanitarian crisis.
(Commitment 7: Develop targets and measure our progress as we implement our commitments)