A change of pace for a Sustainable NCA

On 24 September, NCA signed the Climate and Environment Charter for humanitarian organisations, joining a rapidly growing list of humanitarian organisations from all over the world in doing so. 

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- Signing this Climate Charter signals a change of pace for a Sustainable NCA, says Secretary General, Dagfinn Høybråten. 

The Climate Charter is the result of broad consultation across the humanitarian sector, facilitated by the Red Cross. The Charter is built around seven commitments (see overview below). Organizations adopting the Charter should be committed to addressing the climate and environment crises, both through their programmes and the way in which they work.  

– By signing the Charter, we have committed to scale up our climate action, cut our greenhouse gas emissions, and ensure that our programming is environmentally sustainable, says general secretary Dagfinn Høybråten. 

The Climate Charter is a natural continuation and enhancement of NCA strategic priority to address environmental sustainability, building on NCA’s Climate and Environment Policy and the recently launched Environmental Sustainability Standard in programming. 

– We are acutely aware that we cannot continue with business as usual. We carry a responsibility to fight for climate justice on behalf of marginalised populations, but we must also lead from the front, through our own actions. 

Høybråten points out that humanitarian and development organisations are increasingly judged on their ability to adopt and promote environmentally sustainable solutions. 

– I have been deeply encouraged by the enthusiasm demonstrated by colleagues in the field who are already adopting green solutions in their work. Changes are needed. These will be beneficial in the long run. 

Organisations that sign the Charter are expected to translate the commitments into time-bound targets and action plans within a year.The Sustainable NCA working group is currently developing plans on how to involve relevant stakeholders and shape initiatives on the road to a sustainable NCA.

By signing the Climate Charter, NCA has committed to:  

  1. Step-up our response to growing humanitarian needs and help people adapt to the impacts of the climate and environmental crises 

  1. Maximize the environmental sustainability of our work and rapidly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions 

  1. Embrace the leadership of local actors and communities 

  1. Increase our capacity to understand climate and environmental risks and develop evidence-based solutions 

  1. Work collaboratively across the humanitarian sector and beyond to strengthen climate and environmental action 

  1. Use our influence to mobilise urgent and more ambitious climate action and environmental protection 

  1. Develop targets and measure our progress as we implement our commitments 

Photo: Norwegian Church Aid/Hilina Abebe.