The impacts of climate change

In the UK and around the world, the Red Cross is there right now to support people affected by climate change.

Right now, people are feeling the impact of the changing climate, whether they’re here in the UK or overseas.

From cities in the UK and Europe to the Australian bush, from flooding in Bangladesh to drought in Afghanistan, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is there.

Together, we work in 192 countries across the world to support communities feeling the impact of the changing climate.

As the world's largest humanitarian organisation, we help people stay safe from, adapt to and cope with the impact of climate change every day.

When a flood, hurricane or wildfire strikes, we need to respond immediately. 

Donate to our Disaster Fund to ensure we can reach people quickly in future crises in the UK and around the world.

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  • Around 1 in 7 people have been directly impacted by the climate crisis in the past ten years. 
  • In the past ten years, 83 per cent of all disasters triggered by natural hazards were caused by extreme weather and climate-related events, such as floods, storms and heatwaves.  

 

  • The Red Cross and Red Crescent have 14 million volunteers from 165,000 local branches working side by side with communities
  • We're working in 192 countries across the world to help communities feeling the impact of the changing climate.

Living with climate change: how the Red Cross helps

British Red Cross emergency volunteers offer practical and emotional help during UK floods.

In Bangladesh, we help people prepare for cyclones and deal with climate change.

The Australian Red Cross helped people plan for, stay safe during and rebuild after the terrible bush fires. 

The effects of climate change

The climate is already changing. But unless the world acts urgently, the effects of climate change could get even worse.

Research by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies uncovered some staggering statistics:

  • Floods, storms and heatwaves killed more than 410,000 people, affecting an incredible 1.7 billion people. 
  • Of the 2,850 disasters triggered by natural hazards from 2010 to 2020, floods were the most frequent.
  • At this  rate, 147 million people may be at risk of flooding by 2030 

 

Those affected by these climate disasters are real people, not just statistics.

They're like Ann in Yorkshire, who saw the River Don break its banks, flooding her home and much of her village. 

Or they may face problems getting enough food, like Tirisai in Zimbabwe, whose harvest was destroyed by drought and freak hail storms.

Each one has a story to tell. As the world works towards recovery from Covid, the Red Cross calls on global leaders to make sure that the effects of climate change on people's lives are addressed at the same time.

Climate change in the UK: practical help

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Prepare for floods

Take these steps before, during and after floods to help keep you and your family safe.

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Download our free Emergency apps

Get clear advice on what to do in a crisis with our free emergency and first aid apps. 

Extreme weather events are already happening in the UK, with more expected in the future. Here’s how to stop them from turning into a crisis: 

Our research shows that heatwaves can kill, but people can take steps to keep themselves and their families safe. Read our recommendations and policy calls.

 

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