The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is committed to ensuring that climate action is accelerated in places affected by both climate change and conflict. Countries affected by conflict are among the most vulnerable to the consequences of change, yet efforts to help people enduring conflict adapt and build resilience remain limited and insufficient.

In order to accelerate such action, it is critical that we expand our collective understanding of climate risks in conflict settings and the types of responses that are feasible. The ICRC, through its strictly humanitarian mission to protect and assist people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence, has an important role to play in this effort. In the places where we work, in close collaboration with conflict-affected communities, authorities, and other partners, we are working to factor climate risks into our programs and to learn from, improve, and document our experience. This is in line with the ICRC’s Plan of Action to Implement the Climate and Environment Charter for Humanitarian Organizations, in which the ICRC has committed to factor climate risks across all our programs by 2025, reduce our environmental footprint, and use our influence to call for greater climate action and finance in conflict settings and for greater respect for International Humanitarian Law (IHL), including its rules that protect the natural environment.

Our submission:

  • As noted in the Charter, which calls for sharing knowledge and working with partners to improve responses and meet needs, improving knowledge and practice around the necessity and possibility of climate action in places affected by conflict is a collective endeavor extending far beyond the humanitarian sector. The ICRC’s 2023 policy report Weathering the Storm documents efforts to help communities respond and adapt to the combined risk of climate change and conflict in Mozambique, Niger, and the Gaza Strip. It builds on previous ICRC research into the impact of climate change and armed conflict on people’s lives and offers examples of possible practice to inform future action.

  • Together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), we have succeeded in securing financial support from the European Union and the Unites States for a Secretariat to support signatories to the Climate and Environment Charter for Humanitarian Organizations. This body will answer the request from humanitarian organizations for a dedicated resource hub where good practice, technical knowledge, and lessons learned can be shared widely and accessibly across the humanitarian sector as it scales up its response to the climate and environmental crises.