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Leading the way: How donors and organisations can unlock financial blockages to accelerate the climate and environmental transformation of the humanitarian sector

  • Aid
  • Donors
  • Climate engagement
  • Policy brief

In 2023, Climate Action Accelerator brought together INGOs, Red Cross, UN agencies, and humanitarian donors to explore opportunities to unlock financial blockages slowing down efforts to scale up the implementation of climate and environmental strategies by humanitarian actors.

Read the policy brief here

About the policy brief

Operationalising commitments and reducing the humanitarian sector’s environmental and climate footprint is a responsibility shared amongst all actors, including INGOs, UN agencies, and humanitarian donors. This policy brief analyses how all of them can contribute to unlock access to adequate financial support for the climate and environmental transformation of the sector, thereby contributing to accelerate change across humanitarian actors.

While donors have been increasingly trying to fund climate and environmental strategies of their implementing partners through project grants or other grants, a number of priority investments and actions still fall through the cracks.

As donors are ramping up their support to humanitarian organisations, they could therefore further develop their capacity to financially and technically support and guide them, adopting a three tier approach mixing incentives and requirements, capacity building, and financial support.  On their side, humanitarian organisations have a significant role to play to steer individual and collective behaviour change internally and to adjust their ways of working as donors cannot do it all.

Finally, considering that United Nations (UN) humanitarian agencies and other large international organisations channel more than half of international humanitarian assistance funds, they should lead the way and adopt, implement, and monitor ambitious and principled impact reduction plans for their own operations, and support their subgrantees to move in the same direction.


Read the full brief and explore our recommendations to humanitarian donors and organisations.


This dialogue was organised with generous support from the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) and the Crisis Centre of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (CDCS). We are grateful to DG ECHO who kindly hosted a face-to-face session at their headquarters in Brussels.


Recording from the launch event

Did you miss the launch event of our policy brief? You can now watch the replay below or on our YouTube channel!

  • Policy brief – Leading the way: How donors and organisations can unlock financial blockages to accelerate the climate transformation of the humanitarian sector

    Read the brief here