Habitat for Humanity advocates for inclusive, resilient housing at COP26 climate change conference

Habitat for Humanity is calling on delegates at COP26, the world’s premiere climate change conference to ensure efforts to reduce carbon emissions don’t raise the cost of housing while also helping the most vulnerable families adapt their homes to withstand rising seas, extreme temperatures and increasingly intense weather events.

“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.”

Habitat released a list of COP26 commitments and recommendations, calling on the UN, multilateral development banks and donor governments to promote investment in housing renovation and upgrading while limiting carbon emissions created by new construction. They, along with all governments and housing actors, should place a special focus on the more than 1 billion residents of informal settlements by helping them adapt to climate change. This means, for example, prioritizing financing mechanisms for low-income households that frequently lack access to loans for improving their homes and making them more resilient to rising sea levels, droughts, floods, heat waves and weather events made more severe by climate change.

In Vietnam, Habitat for Humanity Vietnam has dozens of projects across three regions of the country that involve climate change mitigation and/or adaptation, from building climate-adapted homes in Quang Nam province to capacity training in the down-south province, Dong Thap. By applying the PASSA (participatory approach for safe shelter awareness) approach, Habitat Vietnam puts the people at the heart of the decision-making process; thereby empowering the communities to take ownership in improving their living conditions towards sustainable development. This approach has changed the traditional way of working of the local government, in which the problems are solved from top to bottom (government-people) and built confidence in disaster preparedness for local communities.

Community members in Tien Lanh commune, Tien Phuoc district in a PASSA process meeting to discuss the action plan for disaster preparedness. (Quang Nam, 10/2020)

About Habitat for Humanity Vietnam

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort and has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 70 countries. Operating as a branch of Habitat for Humanity in Vietnam for 20 years, we have worked with over 61,000 families to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat Vietnam has been delivering a holistic approach to housing by supporting and empowering communities to take ownership in improving their living conditions and enabling them to build strength, stability, and self-reliance. To learn more, please visit https://habitatvietnam.org or follow https://www.facebook.com/HFHVietnam/.


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