As global leaders and stakeholders assemble for COP28, the urgency to address climate change, extreme poverty, and conflict has never been greater. At the heart of this year’s summit, a sobering reality emerges: 16 countries deemed both climate-vulnerable and conflict-affected contribute a mere 3% of global greenhouse emissions and yet shoulder 60% of the world’s humanitarian needs, and nearly half of all people affected by natural disasters over the past three years. These contexts however only receive one-third of the climate adaptation financing of their stable counterparts.
Collaborative efforts between humanitarian actors, corporations and the philanthropic community are vital in catalyzing climate responses and fortifying the resilience of the world's most vulnerable people.
The IRC's solutions offer scalable impact and deploy climate finance capital quickly to ensure that the needs of communities in conflict-affected countries most vulnerable to climate change are addressed. Often, people in these communities have contributed least to climate change. Our teams understand the unique needs of people in these settings and are focused on climate adaptation, climate resilience, and crisis response. Evidence-based solutions backed up by measurable data successfully bridge the gap between financial institutions and companies.
Through its partnerships, the IRC pioneers innovative solutions for climate resilience and adaptation, responding to unique needs of the affected communities and illuminating a way forward amidst profound uncertainties:
- Google.org: Through the Anticipatory Action project in Nigeria, with support from Google.org, the IRC worked in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to pilot and evaluate the use of early warning systems and anticipatory cash as a means of mitigating the impacts of disaster, promoting food security, and building resilience to climate shocks among agro-pastoralists, who are threatened by severe flooding in the Northeastern state of Adamawa, Nigeria. Based on the success of these research findings, the IRC is expanding its anticipatory action portfolio.
- Palo Alto Networks: With the support of Palo Alto Networks, the IRC is advancing its one if its most promising climate innovations, seed security, which empowers farmers with high-quality seeds that are resilient to climate change. The IRC has successfully piloted this initiative in northeast Syria, and Palo Alto Networks will support the IRC’s expansion of this work into South Sudan. Through the partnership, the IRC is leveraging existing insights from design research and its expertise in restoring agricultural assets, upgrading skills and building disaster preparedness to better protect and improve livelihoods to adapt existing climate resilience solutions to conflict-affected environments, as well as innovate new solutions at the nexus of climate resilience and security.
- Unilever: Unilever is supporting the IRC’s seed security work in Pakistan, using learnings from the Seed Security pilot in northeast Syria, empowering farmers to adapt to climate change with high-quality seeds that are resilient to a changing climate. The project highlights the effectiveness of strengthening seed security systems, and that similar measures must be a priority in climate financing programming in countries most affected by the climate crisis.
- IKEA Foundation: The Re:Build Program in partnership with the IKEA Foundation is supporting urban refugees and vulnerable hosts communities to access green jobs. With the involvement of local organizations and the private sector in Nairobi, Kenya and Kampala, Uganda, the program has provided linkages to training in green energy and employment opportunities in the fields of solar technology, production of fuel-efficient stoves, and climate smart urban agriculture. Since 2022, clients trained in solar installation, climate smart agriculture techniques, and solar photovoltaic systems have embraced income-generating activities in the green energy space.
- CBA/LVMH: With support from the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA) and Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), the IRC in partnership with local government and NGOs is piloting a Living Lab project that aims to address the negative impact of climate change on the Lake Chad basin, while supporting sustainable livelihoods and cotton growing which is a major source of income for local communities in Chad.
These partnerships are more than just collaborations; they are a testimony to the transformative power of collective global action. Beyond resources, private sector offers expertise and innovation, leading to greater impact. COP28 is not just about global dialogues and resolutions; it's a call for sustained and strategic partnerships. The corporate and philanthropic sectors, with their expertise and resources, stand poised to co-create solutions with the humanitarian sector that are both revolutionary and relevant for communities affected.
As COP28 charts the future trajectory for climate action, prioritizing cross-sector partnerships will be crucial to catalyze sustainable, meaningful progress for those communities at the frontline of the climate crisis.