Calls for increased access to insurance, credit, savings and innovative financial tools to help mitigate the effects of extreme climate events
KATOWICE, Poland – Following the conclusion of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change talks, Mercy Corps’ Chief Executive Officer Neal Keny-Guyer issued the following statement:
“Mercy Corps welcomes progress towards finalizing the ‘rulebook’ produced by the Conference of Parties last week. But we need bolder commitments and action on the ground. Even if all greenhouse emissions stopped today, the earth will still warm by a further 0.5 degrees Celsius in the next 20 years. That locks us into an increasing number of extreme events—heat waves, floods, droughts, hurricanes—that will have a disproportionate effect on the world’s most vulnerable people.
“When societies are unable to absorb the shocks of a changing climate, instability increases, making climate change a contributing factor to conflict. That’s why Mercy Corps believes that in addition to curbing greenhouse gas emissions, the world must also work to help vulnerable people and societies adapt to the coming crises.
“Climate change is making the poorest people poorer. To help them adapt and to avoid losses, we must invest in inclusive financial tools and other strategies to soften the blows of a changing climate. These can include lowering barriers to insurance, credit and savings, and increasing public and private finance. Otherwise, we risk undermining economic gains made in developing countries.
“The climate is changing. By taking action now, we can minimize risks and ensure that people, young and old alike, have the tools they need to prepare for and adapt to changes. Mercy Corps will continue to do so by focusing on innovative solutions, bold thinking and a stubborn insistence on seeing possibility in the face of pessimism.”
From Kenya and Ethiopia to Indonesia and Bangladesh, Mercy Corps is helping people to adapt by:
- Providing access to climate information services.
- Helping farmers diversify their crops, learn new technologies, and redesign their farmland in the face of severe and frequent droughts.
- Integrating mobile technology into programmes to help vulnerable communities better withstand conflict, displacement and urbanization exacerbated by climate change.
- Helping communities deal with floods by changing land use, improving governance, innovating new financial instruments and developing new partnerships for action.