Image by Picture: World Vision
  • Consultancy
  • 21 September 2023

Leaving no one behind: A green bargain for people and planet

This briefing paper, produced by Oxfam with support from Development Initiatives, considers enhancing collaboration between the humanitarian and climate sectors to ensure no one is left behind

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With the increasing frequency of fires, floods, droughts and other extreme weather events, countries across the world are facing a new era of climate-linked crises. The international climate finance system – through mitigation, adaptation and potentially now through loss and damage – is seeking to reduce and address these impacts. In parallel, the humanitarian system is increasingly having to respond to climate-linked crisis, or the impacts of climate change on already fragile or conflict-affected states.

Both systems are chronically underfunded and increasingly overstretched and must now make difficult choices regarding the way in which funding is raised, distributed and used. Such decisions are strongly influenced by the histories, governing principles, operating modalities and political underpinnings of both climate and humanitarian finance. However, these principles are not well aligned, and coordination is often ad-hoc, leading to gaps in responses at the expense of people most in need of support.

As the climate crisis intensifies, climate and humanitarian finance must find ways to plan and programme together more effectively. While many important debates over principles and mechanisms continue, this paper seeks to provide a broad guide for those engaging at the intersection of climate and humanitarian finance to understand both systems and generate discussion on how both sectors can better coordinate for a more effective response to the climate crisis.

This paper was written by Mathew Truscott and Erica Mason. Oxfam acknowledges the assistance of Kirsty Lazer, Emma Woodcock and Thea Wright at Development Initiatives in its production. It is part of a series of papers written to inform public debate on development and humanitarian policy issues. For further information on the issues raised in this paper please email [email protected].

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