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It's not easy being green?

Published 19 Oct 2016

The environmental debate often seems as if it is lived out in national and local government debating chambers, that it is made up of international agreements and corporate policies, and that, for the rest of us, it is an opt-in issue.

For the world’s poorest communities climate change is a life-threatening reality. It is not optional. We’ve seen this first-hand in the countries where we work.

In Malawi, extremes of weather have caused a food crisis and led the country to declare a national state of emergency. 6.5 million people go to sleep not knowing where their next meal is coming from and this is expected to last well into 2017.

In India, the World Bank says climate change is expected to have major health impacts - increasing malnutrition and related health disorders such as child stunting - with the poor likely to be affected most severely. Child stunting is projected to increase by 35% by 2050 compared to a scenario without climate change.

In Nepal, heavy rains are becoming more severe and each time they bring severe diarrhoea and an increased risk of water-borne diseases such as cholera and dengue. Unpredictable seasons have hampered the country’s ability to rebuild after the earthquake and keep people trapped in poverty.

How can we work towards a healthier world while our planet gets sicker?

At EMMS International we help partners to mitigate the impact of climate change. We take our role seriously, monitoring travel, print supply and our energy usage to reduce our own carbon footprint. This is tracked annually and is a key performance indicator reported to our board of trustees.

There is also plenty we can do as individuals, including:

  • Switching to a green energy supplier.
  • Reducing our meat and dairy consumption – production is carbon intensive.
  • War on waste – don’t buy what you don’t need.
  • Recycle whatever you can.
  • Inspire others to act – your family, church and your local MP!

It’s so important that we all stop seeing this as a personal inconvenience and do our part for those who bear the brunt of climate change.

Cathy Ratcliff
Director of International Programmes