IFRC And UNFCCC Call For Cooperative Action To Meet Climate Challenge


Statement by Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of the International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and Christiana
Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change:

Risks from climate change are on the rise, jeopardizing hard-won
development gains and posing formidable challenges to people and
communities around the world. Millions of Red Cross and Red Crescent
volunteers – from small island states to large urban centres – can testify
to this reality, and the recently released IPCC 5th Assessment Report
confirms that the challenge of climate change is unprecedented in human
history.  Overcoming this challenge requires an unprecedented level of

Climate science shows what the world needs to achieve. We have a three-part
goal to successfully address climate change: peaking global emissions in
the next decade, triggering a deep de-carbonization of the global economy,
and achieving climate neutrality as soon as possible in the second half of
the century.

One thing is certain at this crucial moment – reducing the risks of climate
change requires collaborative and coordinated action by every government,
industry, investor, agency and citizen.
As governments move closer to a new, universal climate change agreement in
Paris later this year, the humanitarian community is also charting its
course forward at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR)
being convened this month in Sendai, Japan. We urge all leaders and
participants in Sendai to add their voices to the growing chorus calling
for climate action. In this way, they will open the door to a safer
tomorrow for everyone on the planet.

At the WCDRR, the IFRC will call for the new post-2015 framework to be
inclusive of a broader community resilience agenda that safeguards
sustainable development gains and integrates disaster risk reduction
together with public health, poverty reduction and climate change
strategies. We will announce our One Billion Coalition for Resilience
initiative to bring together a wide range of like-minded individuals and
organization to form new partnerships that expand our reach to engage more
local communities across the globe.

Yet past greenhouse gas emissions still commit us to climate risks for
decades to come. National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are tackling
the effects of climate change through disaster risk reduction and
resilience building. At the Climate Summit in September last year, the
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
committed to support high-risk communities in at least 40 countries, in
using climate information to enhance their resilience and to scale up
public awareness and education on changing climate risks by mobilizing its
vast network of volunteers and systematically communicating to the general
public about the effects of climate change in major disasters.