Disability and climate change report – it’s time to act

Posted on: Friday, 17th July, 2020
Villagers are evacuated in a Kenya Red Cross boat after coastal flooding.

The need for a disability-inclusive approach to climate change is at a now or never moment, according to a new CBM report.  

Climate Change: This Century’s Defining Issue by CBM Global Disability Inclusive Development Director Mary Keogh and Maria Paula Acuna Gonzalez, looks at the impact of climate change on people with disabilities.    

While it is widely known that global warming affects the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, the report underlines that the impact will be felt particularly by people with disabilities.  The report states:

“It is now widely accepted that climate change affects the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people and while data on its impact on persons with disabilities is not available, some estimates have suggested 20% among those most vulnerable to climate change are persons with disabilities. The aim of this working paper is to explore and analyse the different dimensions where climate change impacts on the lives of persons with disabilities. The momentum for this paper is to bring light to the fact that the need for a disability inclusive approach to climate change is at a now or never moment.”

Climate Change: This Century’s Defining Issue shows that global warming directly impacts people with disabilities in accessing nutrition, making a living and obtaining critical life-saving information before, during and after climate change-related disasters.

The report, which covers personal, programme, policy and political perspectives highlights a lack of inclusion, representation and investment in people with disabilities in relation to climate change. It also highlights positive examples of progress, for example how organisations representing persons with disabilities in the Pacific and Latin America are engaging in climate change.

Recommendations in the report set out key actions to ensure that people with disabilities and their representative organisations are not left behind in the global, national and local movements advancing climate justice

View the full document.

Image: Villagers are evacuated in a Kenya Red Cross boat after coastal flooding.



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