Climate change: we're there
In the UK and around the world, the Red Cross helps people prepare for, deal with and recover from the impacts of climate change. Working together, we can make a difference.
The Red Cross and climate change
Across the globe and here in the UK, people are feeling the effects of climate change. Extreme weather events are on the rise, and heatwaves, droughts, floods, and storms can have a devastating impact on people’s lives.
The 2022 heatwave in the UK and across parts of Europe, devastating wildfires, and drought in East Africa make it clear. Climate change is contributing to, and worsening, emergencies around the globe, putting the health, homes, and livelihoods of people and communities at risk.
The Red Cross supports people through emergencies in 192 countries worldwide. This includes helping communities to prepare for extreme weather, so they can get ahead of climate disasters. We also support people to recover from emergencies when they happen and develop research and insight to keep communities safe.
Working together, we can make a difference.
Climate change: what can we do to help
In November 2022, the world came together at COP27 to discuss the climate crisis. Then and now, we call for:
- People and communities on the front line of the climate crisis should be at the heart of discussions.
- Governments need to act now to deliver on the promises they made at COP26 in Glasgow.
- We need real efforts to tackle losses and damages already faced by people on the frontline of climate change. Providing humanitarian aid alone is not enough.
Climate change in numbers
- Around 1 in 7 people have been directly impacted by the climate crisis in the past ten years.
- In the past ten years, 86 per cent of all disasters triggered by natural hazards were caused by extreme weather and climate-related events, such as floods, storms and heatwaves.
- By 2050, Britain will be 50 per cent more likely to experience hot summers, and heat-related deaths could triple, reaching around 7,000 every year.
- The number of climate and weather-related disasters has risen almost 35 per cent since the 1990s.
- 93 per cent of people most impacted by climate disasters live in low resource countries that contribute the least to climate change.
A snapshot of our work on climate change
Our climate change work supports people across the globe who are dealing with the impact of the climate crisis.
Myanmar: We supported 3,208 people to recover from crises caused or made worse by climate change.
Bangladesh: We helped over 31,000 people to adapt to the challenges they faced from extreme weather caused by climate change and recover from climate crises.
The UK: In 2021, the British Red Cross responded to 130 climate-related incidents in the UK, including flooding.
Namibia: We supported 1,000 farmers to adapt how they farmed, grow food and earn an income in the face of the changing climate.
Why climate change adaptation is so important
Over the past decade, 83 per cent of all disasters around the world were caused by extreme weather and climate-related events.Richard Blewitt, executive director, British Red Cross
Our new research on flooding preparedness in the UK heightens the urgency.
It found that in the UK, 73 per cent of people do not have a good understanding of the current flood risk to their home and area. Only one in seven know how to prepare for a flood.
It concludes that the UK is 'ill-prepared' to deal with flooding - made worse by climate change - despite 1.9 million people living in flood prone areas.
Together, we can raise our global ambition, and help people get ready for and deal with climate risks. Help us support those suffering most and support climate change action by donating to our climate work.