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AWARENESS of climate change is growing in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. And so it should. Global warming already affects almost every aspect of our work — water and sanitation, disaster preparedness and response, the spread of diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, hunger, conflict over scarce resources, population movement; the list goes on.

The environmental label is, at last, coming off climate change. This issue’s lead story investigates how the Movement, as a global family, is working with the people who are, and those who will be, most affected by climate change. For people in many countries, climate change is not an abstract concept; they feel it in increased storms and droughts, rising sea levels or the changing incidence of diseases. Populations subsisting on marginal land or in shanty towns, displaced or on the move, at or below the poverty line, will be the most exposed to climate chaos. Increasingly, the Movement sees climate change no longer as one problem competing with many other priorities, but as one that has to be addressed if we are to meet our humanitarian responsibilities.

Let us hope the Movement’s neutral and impartial action and advocacy on this pressing issue can better protect the growing number of people affected by one of the greatest challenges today. There is no time to lose.

Jean-François Berger
ICRC editor

Rosemarie North
International Federation editor

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