As the country discusses building back better following the Covid-19 pandemic, addressing climate change is one of the key topics on the table. At a time of rising unemployment and food banks seeing heightened demand, what does the climate crisis mean for charities?

NPC recently convened a roundtable event on this topic, and our discussions explored how climate change is a risk to the missions of all charities and funders. However, there is a need to bridge the gap between long-term challenges and short-term needs that have been made worse by Covid-19.

As a result of climate change, over the coming decades we are likely to see reduced food security, greater migration and displacement, disruption to education and employment, increased poverty, and the increased prevalence of zoonotic diseases such as Covid-19. These are the effects of rising sea levels, floods, heatwaves, water shortages, and how we engage with our natural environment. These challenges will affect all charities and funders regardless of their mission, much like we have seen with all charities being affected by Covid-19.

As Karla Hill, environmental lawyer and former Global Programmes Counsel at ClientEarth, said, ‘climate change is a social justice issue … the impact of climate change will be felt most strongly by the most vulnerable in society. As with coronavirus, yes, we are all affected but we are not all affected equally.’

The sector must acknowledge and act upon what climate change means for our organisations and the people we exist to serve.

So, here are four recommendations from our roundtable discussions on how to respond to the climate crisis alongside immediate need, bridging the gap between long-term challenges and existing inequalities.

  1. Recognise that climate change is a risk to your mission
  2. Embed climate related issues into your existing work
  3. Amplify and integrate the voices of those affected
  4. Collaborate

Read the full article about climate change by Alex Miller at NPC.