Disability and the Climate Crisis

Disability inclusive climate action at CBM UK

People with disabilities, especially those living in poverty, are among those hardest hit by climate change. 

There has already been an increase in the frequency and severity of humanitarian crises like floods, hurricanes and droughts due to climate change. People with disabilities are more likely to live in areas prone to disasters because they are more likely to be poor. They are four times more likely than those without disabilities to lose their lives as a result of natural disasters. The greatest threat and burden of climate change will fall on the world’s poorest people – who have done the least to cause it.

Urgent action is needed to respond to this global crisis and people with disabilities must be meaningfully included. 

People with disabilities and their representative organisations must be fully included in responses to climate change, from needs identification and programme design to evaluation.  As experts in understanding their context and identifying their needs and capabilities, they have a valuable role to play in building innovative solutions.  A fully inclusive approach also ensures other marginalised groups will not be left out - it benefits everyone.

CBM UK at COP26

COP26 is the annual UN climate conference, or “Conference of Parties”. Leaders of the 197 countries that are part of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change met in Glasgow from 31 October–12 November 2021.

They discussed how the world’s nations can best keep global temperature rise below dangerous levels and prevent the climate crisis from causing even greater damage for the world’s poorest people. They negotiated ongoing commitments to tackle what is one of the greatest issues this planet faces.

An estimated 20% of the people most affected by climate change are people with disabilities; their voices must be heard.

CBM UK attended COP26, alongside our Disability Movement partners like the International Disability Alliance, European Disability Forum and Regional Psychosocial Support Initiatives (REPSSI) to ensure that disability inclusion is not overlooked.

You can watch our live-streamed event 'CBM UK: An inclusive planet: inclusion, mental health and climate change' from Friday 5th November here.

As well as aiming to influence the negotiations, CBM UK joined the wider civil society discussion to promote inclusion and offer practical suggestion for how climate adaptation and resilience measures can be more inclusive and incorporate proper consideration of mental wellbeing. 

Inclusive Climate Action

Umaru (right) receives maize flour and rice as part of CBM and NUDIPU’s COVID-19 response in Uganda.

Madagascar food crisis

The people of Southern Madagascar are paying the devastating price for a climate crisis they have done nothing to create. CBM has been working with our partner in the region since June 2021 to provide emergency relief to vulnerable families, especially those with disabilities.
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Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction in Nepal

Nepal's fragile Himalayan terrain gives it one of the highest fatality rates in the world from landslides, earthquakes and flash floods, and the climate crisis brings the threat of yet more extreme weather. We are working with partners in 3 districts of Nepal to support disability inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction.
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Kazol's Story

When a flood is coming, we have to prepare: we store dry food and firewood. We make a list of doctors with their phone numbers; we use that list during the flood if needed. We also plan how to rescue people with disabilities during a flood and where to take them to a shelter, with accessible toilets.
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