World Humanitarian Day

August 19, 2021
ESG Insights

“Time is already running out for millions of the world's most vulnerable people – those who have contributed least to the global climate emergency but are hit the hardest." United Nations Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs.

World Humanitarian Day 2021 is a day to highlight the immediate human cost of the climate crisis. This year the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is increasing pressure on world leaders to take meaningful climate action for the world’s most vulnerable people as we lead up the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November.

The impacts of global warming are already being felt worldwide. Sea levels are rising, sea-ice is retreating, seasonal rainfall patterns are more unpredictable and extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense. As such, Ethical Partners’ commitment to reducing our impact on the climate is at the forefront of what we do. We would like to reiterate the importance of World Humanitarian Day today as the climate emergency is wreaking havoc across the world at a scale that the humanitarian community and people at the front lines cannot manage.

This day couldn’t be more timely as the recent IPCC report, ‘Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis’ shows there is unequivocal evidence that humans are responsible for the observed warming of the atmosphere, lands and oceans. Urgent action is therefore required, and we believe that investors and the financial system are crucial to this action.

A changing climate affects everyone but it is the world’s poorest and those in vulnerable situations who bear the brunt of environmental, economic and social shocks. The below statistics and conditions illustrate just how desperate the situation is for those communities around the world most at risk.

• Global warming, rising temperatures and sea levels, and extreme weather events are threatening island nations and coastal communities. More than 1 billion people live in countries with high exposure to climate-related hazards. An additional 250,000 deaths per year are expected between 2030 and 2050 from climate-related malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.

• Those living in the most fragile and conflict-affected countries are disproportionately affected by climate change and thus displacement is one of the most devastating consequences. Over the past decade, weather-related events triggered an average of 21.5 million new displacements each year, more than twice as many as displacements caused by conflict and violence.

• As productive land and water become scarcer due to climate change, crop yields decrease, food prices tend to increase, making food unaffordable for many impoverished or displaced communities. Food insecurity can be a direct outcome of climate-related disasters or conflict and can also trigger social tension and violence.

As investors we will continue to reiterate the importance of climate action with our portfolio companies and continue on our journey to reaching our new commitment to reach net zero by 2050. We also reiterate the importance of global collaboration for this problem as we are all have a part to play, whether as governments, businesses, communities or individuals. Therefore we are supporting the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs as they place increasing pressure on world leaders to make meaningful climate action.

You can learn more about World Humanitarian Day here:

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