High-level Segment of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (CoP 18)

Published: 10 December 2012

Speech delivered by Dr. Mohammed bin Ghanem Al-Ali Al-Maadheed

Vice President of IFRC and President of the Qatar Red Crescent Society

Event: COP 18
Date of delivery:  7 December 2012
Length of address: Two minutes (240 words maximum)
Focus: People and their communities at the centre of the climate change agendas



Mr. President,

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies takes this opportunity to remind governments of their collective responsibility to prevent irreversible damage to humanity.

To honour this responsibility, we call on governments to increase their ambition to act now by agreeing to legally-binding commitments that tackle the root causes of climate change and reduce emissions beyond current pledges.

Our 187 National Societies represent a vast global network that is continuously active on the ground. We feel the heartbeat of communities around the world. We witness every day the worsening impact of climate change on their lives and livelihoods. For the most vulnerable people, the humanitarian impact of a changing climate is not a future threat. It is a daily reality.

Today, I remind you to put these communities at the centre of your agendas.

For adaptation and mitigation plans to be successful, they must effectively target local communities and include measures to strengthen peoples’ abilities to prepare for climate-related disasters and cope with the changes around them.

The Red Cross Red Crescent calls on governments to prioritize actions in support of most vulnerable people, including longer term, predictable funding commitments that invest at a local level. The IFRC stands ready to work with Governments to reduce vulnerability and strengthen climate resilience, notably within the framework of National Adaptation Plans.