ADRA Europe offices call on immediate climate action to avoid future catastrophes
ADRA offices in Europe have prepared a position paper before COP27 in Egypt starts this week, calling on immediate climate action to avoid future catastrophes. From 6 to 18 November, Heads of State, ministers, and negotiators, along with climate activists, mayors, civil society representatives and CEOs are meeting in the Egyptian coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh for the largest annual gathering on climate action.
The effects of the climate crisis are being felt all over the world. Livelihoods and health are threatened. Extreme weather events are becoming more severe and more frequent. As humanitarian and development practitioners, we have seen first-hand how our global equilibrium is out of order. All science is precise, but we have an implementation problem.
The international ADRA network of 113 independent entities works in a federal structure. In our projects – humanitarian aid and development cooperation – we work in close partnership with the local population in supporting people in building up socio-economic resilience to lead lives in dignity and quality. People are at the centre of everything we do. As a value-based aid organisation, we help all, regardless of religion, ideology, origin or nationality. The offices have built valuable expertise in mitigation and adaptation over the years, responding to climate change disasters and building sustainable livelihoods in areas where climate change negatively affects communities.
Within the ADRA network, we aim to bring together different competencies and strengths in our advocacy working group of European offices. We aim to do our deed; offices in our network have started to move towards net zero, signed the Climate charter, shared our knowledge at COP26 and COP27, and published the comprehensive Carbon Reduction Guide in 2021. Our projects range from youth empowerment to livelihoods and disaster risk management. As civil society organisations in service to humankind, we want to act on the ground, but we also see the bigger system around the catastrophes that hit the poorest, least resilient communities the worst. We want to add our voices to the demands and bring attention to the steps needed to ensure our planet and humanity can recover into a safer, less climate-volatile future. We call on you as policymakers and influential personalities to take necessary decisions in the upcoming UN Climate Conference. As the historical perpetrators of the climate crisis, the industrialised countries must finally step up to promises made. The COP26 has set some course, but more steps are needed. With the next climate conference, we should seize this chance to come together and drive forward in combatting the climate crisis. Every step we take now is insurance for the future. We have formulated three demands.
- Stronger consideration of civil society actors
We advocate for the civil society actors active on the ground and fighting for the lives and livelihoods of the most targeted by climate crisis to be given considerably more space at the table. Mainly, disadvantaged and underrepresented actors should be more actively involved in implementing climate protection and adaptation measures, significantly if they are directly affected by the actions. Women and other marginalised groups are particularly affected as climate change exacerbates existing vulnerabilities and inequalities. Female-led and inclusive movements should be given special consideration in funding and decision-making. Governments worldwide should continuously allow peaceful protests and refrain from arbitrary arrests or other reprisals against people exercising their human rights – even beyond the end of the negotiations. We hope that the decision-making level will continue actively seeking out the collaboration and council of civil society actors. We, as an ADRA network, offer our expertise in future discussions. In our projects, we prioritise people as experts in their own lives. We need to work together and listen to each other to make the contributions that will bring us forward. We call to strengthen current transformative education to combat climate change at all levels and make sufficient resources available.
- More focus on Loss and Damage
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report shows: The climate crisis is claiming human lives, destroying the environment, causing economic costs, exacerbating conflicts and endangering human rights. We highly welcome that the Egyptian government has announced that Loss and Damage will be in greater focus this COP. The commitment of international civil society towards this topic stays strong. The Glasgow Dialogue on Loss and Damage is the first step and, at the same time, a minimum consensus of COP26. International financing falls far short of the developing countries’ demand a concrete financing mechanism and of what is needed. Without clear milestones, the dialogue cannot lead to tangible results. People who are hit hardest by slow and sudden onsets should receive quick and sustainable relief to rebuild their homes and lives better. Those local communities and actors should be in the lead when designing and implementing loss and damage programs as it is the basis for any Climate Change action. Adaptation is essential – but the first step is immediate support.
- Meeting the pledge on global adaptation financing
The global adaptation target is intended for the adaptation and resilience of all countries in the interest of sustainable development and reducing vulnerabilities. To achieve this goal, countries must develop ambitious National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and long-term strategies. The countries of the Global South should be supported in implementing their adaptation measures. We call on all industrialised countries to increase their climate financing contribution to fulfil the pledge at COP26 to adaptation funding by 2025 and to transparently outline the steps it will take to achieve this goal at COP27. We also call on working towards integrated and coherent programs (water and food security, biodiversity protection, gender equity, etc.), particularly in European financing of adaptation measures in developing countries and with multilateral donor organisations.