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We Must Adapt to the Changing Climate Now.

How the NetHope community is using digital technology to protect lives, livelihoods, and ecosystems.

October 12, 2022

by Leila Toplic, Head of Emerging Technologies Initiative, NetHope


Climate change is the single most pressing issue confronting our society and the planet. Nothing short of bold collective action will avert the catastrophe and fragility that climate change will cause. This is a global crisis that requires us to act fast, and work together.

Scientific evidence is unequivocal: "Climate change is a threat to human wellbeing and the health of the planet. Any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a livable future.”

Over the last 50 years, the number of climate-related disasters has increased five-fold. A disaster related to a weather, climate or water hazard occurred on average every single day over the past half century. Nearly half of the world population lives in contexts highly vulnerable to climate change, 21.5 million people are victims of climate-induced displacement every year and, by 2030, the number of people needing international aid is expected to rise by up to 50% because of the effects of climate change.

What’s more, climate change is a ‘threat multiplier.’ Poverty, food insecurity, violence, inequality. These problems, and many more, are exposed and amplified by climate change leading to negative coping mechanisms like displacement and human trafficking, or harmful practices like child marriage that in turn are widening inequality and destabilizing the world.

Despite the urgency and the scale of need, climate adaptation efforts currently represent only 7% of investment in climate action. More needs to be done urgently to mitigate the consequences of climate change that are now inexorable, while simultaneously curbing greenhouse gas emissions. It’s not either/or – we need to do both, and fast.

NetHope Members (global NGOs) are at the forefront of responding to mounting crises. They play a vital role in protecting the lives and livelihoods of some of the world’s most vulnerable and marginalized communities. These communities are disproportionately affected by climate change and lack access to climate information, resources, and opportunities to adapt and build resilience.

Urgent collective action is needed to help people around the world adapt to the changing climate.

Introducing NetHope’s new study exploring how digital technology can support climate adaptation and resilience of vulnerable communities.

Digitally enabled collective action has always been at the heart of the NetHope community. To broaden our collective understanding of the role digital technologies play in supporting climate adaptation and resilience of vulnerable communities around the world – NetHope conducted a landscape analysis with its NGO Members and technology partners. A total of 77 organizations were invited to participate and 38 actively contributed.

Through this research, we uncovered that digital is playing an important role in eliminating guesswork that climate variability has introduced, growing the resilience of communities, and delivering life-saving information.

NetHope Members are focusing on three key areas in their climate adaptation work, where digital technology plays an increasingly important role:

  • Anticipatory action for climate resilience
  • Digitally enabled climate advisory services
  • Digital for an equitable and just green economy

The study also explores enabling conditions for accelerating and sustaining climate adaptation and resilience efforts. They include digitally enabled initiatives focused on climate education, climate justice, access to financing, nature-positive solutions, and localized decarbonization for resilience.

Today, we are releasing the first installment of the study featuring 24 examples of digitally enabled climate adaptation programs and initiatives that are being implemented by NetHope Members and partners.

Download the report today and join us at the NetHope Global Summit next week to hear directly from NetHope Members about their work in climate adaptation space.

  • October 20: Anticipatory action for climate resilience with The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Building Resilient Communities in Somalia (BRCiS) Consortium represented by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), and Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
  • October 21: Digitally enabled climate advisory services with CGIAR, Heifer International, and Global Communities/AfriScout
Digital for Climate Adaptation and Resilience of Vulnerable Communities - First Installment
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