Annual Report 2021 The three C’s: Covid, climate, conflict


Last year cutting edge science joined forces with public policy to roll back, if not defeat, a clear global threat. It was not climate change. The advent of vaccines enabled many societies in the developed world, at least, to edge back toward normality after nearly two years of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns. But thanks to Covid, we do now have a slightly better idea of what a truly global response to climate change might look like.

As is often the case when we sit down to prepare our annual report in the early northern-hemisphere spring, it is very difficult to block out major events of the first few weeks of the year; never was this more true than two years ago, when country after country went into unprecedented lockdowns.

It is so again now, as the conflict in Ukraine dominates the headlines, the humanitarian sector, and the attention of governments and millions of people worldwide.

Of course, climate change is not the cause of this conflict. But the ramifications certainly intersect with the climate crisis in many ways, reflecting the warnings about compound crises that the IPCC Working Group II report highlighted so clearly.

Even as our colleagues in the Ukrainian Red Cross and the ICRC strive to maintain humanitarian access, we are also struggling with aggravated humanitarian challenges globally – food-price inflation perhaps above all, reflected in the terrible hunger in the Horn of Africa; the record heatwave in South Asia that affected harvests and triggered an export ban in India has not helped matters.

At the same time, the new geopolitical outlook will also have implications for Net Zero as governments consider their energy futures and their commitments to the Paris goals.

Source: Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre