Picking Up The Pace

Photo By: Jon Warren is licensed under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license.

Picking Up The Pace

NGO Climate Compact Report on Progress to Date from Annual Member Survey

In the wake of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that declared ‘code red’ for human-driven global heating, our sector’s work to adapt to and reverse the effects of climate change is more important than ever.

To better measure this work and formalize climate objectives across our community, InterAction and 80+ Member NGOs launched the Climate Compact in April 2020. Since then, our Members have made stunning progress to address climate change and environmental degradation.

To investigate collective progress and identify areas of improvement needed to maintain a necessary pace of action, InterAction launched the second annual NGO Climate Compact Survey from June 17 to July 7, 2021. The survey captured the 89 NGO Compact signatories’ progress toward the four commitment areas in the Climate Compact:

  1. Education and advocacy
  2. Climate mainstreaming in programs
  3. Internal environmental sustainability
  4. Learning

InterAction surveyed Members on their current level of progress toward each of these four commitment areas, the challenges they face in implementing the Compact, including impacts from COVID-19, and their feedback on InterAction’s Climate Program.

Please find an overview of our findings below. For more detail and visualizations of results, check out the full report.

  • Feedback on InterAction’s Climate Program: Overall, respondents expressed high levels of satisfaction with InterAction’s Climate Program; no respondents marked that they were “dissatisfied” or “highly dissatisfied” for any of the working groups or the CEO roundtable.
  • Challenges for Member Progress on Climate Action: Signatories cited several core challenges, including limited time and money; insufficient expertise; slow learning; inability to prioritize the climate crisis; internal lack of coordination; perceived or real resistance from donors; difficulty identifying or accessing the right type of external or internal funding; and staff apathy. With time and money cited most frequently as constraints, inaction on the climate crisis seems to partially stem from issues with prioritization and short attention spans.
  • Impacts of COVID-19: 84% of signatories said their climate work had been impacted in some way by COVID-19. Of the positive impacts, organizations most frequently cited that COVID-19 has intensified an internal commitment to address climate change and accelerated long-term sustainability efforts, especially around travel and commuting.
  • Coalition-Level Progress Toward Compact Commitment Areas: InterAction asked signatories about their progress toward the four areas of commitment within the NGO Climate Compact. Of the four commitment areas, signatories are farthest along in ‘Education and Advocacy,’ and in the late exploratory or early implementation phase of the ‘Learning’ commitment area.

There is no time to waste. Our community must work collectively to help avert a climate catastrophe and its devastating effects on the world’s most vulnerable. 

These results will help guide and shape the next year of InterAction’s Climate Program and help working groups identify areas of focus to spur and accelerate progress and learning. The first annual survey of NGO signatories, which captured a baseline of coalition-level information, was conducted in June 2020. InterAction will continue to repeat this survey annually to track change over time from July 2020 to December 2022. At the end of 2022, our community will review the NGO Climate Compact commitments and lay out the next steps to continue advancing the climate agenda.

About the NGO Climate Compact

On the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, 2020, InterAction and 80+ Member NGOs launched the NGO Climate Compact to pledge concerted, unified, and urgent action to address climate change and environmental degradation. The purpose of the Compact is to initiate large-scale change across the InterAction coalition, which is the largest U.S.-based alliance of international NGOs, as well as the global development and humanitarian assistance sector more broadly. For more information, please contact Sara Nitz Nolan.

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