Habitat for Humanity at COP26

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Habitat for Humanity at COP26

Ensuring that climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts help close the housing gap for the most vulnerable

Habitat for Humanity calls on COP26 delegates to reduce carbon emissions without raising the cost of housing and help the most vulnerable families adapt their homes to withstand rising seas and increasingly intense weather events. Today we are faced with an unprecedented global housing challenge, which is made worse by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the intensifying impacts of the climate crisis. Habitat for Humanity International recognizes that the most vulnerable people, particularly those living in inadequate housing, are bearing the brunt of our changing climate.

“Reducing carbon emissions associated with the residential sector is critical, and we must do so in a way that does not exacerbate another global crisis: the massive gap in adequate, affordable housing,” said Patrick Canagasingham, chief operating officer at Habitat for Humanity International. “The housing and climate crises are interconnected. They cannot be solved in isolation but rather through holistic efforts that prioritize the needs of families most vulnerable to climate change.”

Families living in informal settlements in the Global South are often the most affected by the increasing frequency and intensity of climate disasters. They are also the least able to build back because of limited resources and savings. Across the quickly urbanizing Global South, the number of people living in hazardous locations and inadequately built housing is expected to more than double to 3 billion over the next 15 years (World Bank 2019). Without immediate and appropriate solutions, growing numbers of climate-displaced populations will add to the complexity of the global need for adequate and affordable housing.

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