Humanitarian Agencies should Engage in UN Climate Change Negotiations
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August 2008: An opinion brief authored by Madeleen Helmer, Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, Sarah La Trobe, Tearfund, and Silvia Llosa, UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat, notes that the humanitarian community has not engaged in climate debates, particularly since attention focused on addressing the causes of climate change.

The authors stress that climate […]

Opinion Brief - Why humanitarian agencies should get engaged in the UN climate change negotiations August 2008: An opinion brief authored by Madeleen Helmer,
Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, Sarah La Trobe, Tearfund, and Silvia
Llosa, UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat, notes that
the humanitarian community has not engaged in climate debates, particularly
since attention focused on addressing the causes of climate change.

The authors stress that climate change is already occurring
and will be increasingly felt by the most vulnerable populations. Emphasizing
that these communities’ adaptation depends on finance provided by the
international community, they underline that current funding for adaptation
activities is insufficient and that a future agreement will determine the level
of this necessary support. The authors then argue that besides insufficient
funding, adaptation efforts are being delayed because the humanitarian and risk
reduction experts, who are ‘natural’ adaptation players, are not engaged in
adaptation planning. They outline the upcoming opportunities for these
stakeholders to inform the climate negotiations, and state that they should:
present to the negotiators existing knowledge and experience in disaster risk
reduction; ensure the reflection of the Hyogo Framework for Action’s priorities
in the Copenhagen climate change agreement; and guarantee that new and
additional funding for climate risk management will support local level
disaster risk reduction. The authors then make a series of recommendations to
the humanitarian and risk reduction experts for them to impact the Poznan
negotiations, stressing the need for coordinated efforts of the humanitarian
and disaster risk reduction system. In concluding, they urge the humanitarian
agencies to “join the train” that has “left Bali to arrive in Copenhagen in
December 2009.” [The
Opinion Brief
]

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